I have had the opportunity to be even more ponderous over the last week than usual. TruDee and I had the opportunity to take a little time away in the mountains of Colorado and enjoy a wonderful setting in the cottage of friends Bruce and Vickie. Our first morning I rose and wandered downstairs to find coffee and a little quiet after my morning walk. I started a pot of coffee and opened the cupboard to find coffee cups with peace signs. “Cool,” I thought.
I poured a cup and went to the front porch and sat in the cool Colorado air to ponder. Peace I thought, there are a multitude of thoughts on peace, as I sat and considered the sign on my cup. There is a lot going on in the world today that might disturb one’s peace, at least it seems to keep mine stirred up. There was something deep inside that morning that called to me as I considered the sign on my cup.
Two quotes came to mind, one from Leo Tolstoy, “Everyone wants to change the world, but no one thinkhs of changing themselves.” It’s true, there are days I so want to change what I and so many others see as wrong with the world around us, but perhaps the first step is to consider oneself, if my own peace is not intact, how am I going to be able to affect meaningful change and peace in the world around me? “Good question,” I said to myself.
The other thought that came to mind is from the Dalai Lama, “Peace does not mean an absence of conflicts; differences will always be there. Peace means solving these differences through peaceful means; through dialogue, education, knowledge; and through humane ways.” There will always be conflict, disagreement, and difference. How we engage such conflict and disagreement is fundamental to how we remain at peace within and how we further peace in the world around us.
Being mindful of my own inner peace in each moment remains a challenge, though a constant goal in my life. How do I keep that ever before me and not get distracted by my own willingness to allow others and circumstances to distract and disturb? It’s a good question I suppose and one that remains along the journey of life and community.
Each morning I filled my “Peace Cup,” and pondered, meditated, reflected, and read on what it means to maintain my own sense of peace. In some sense it seemed easy to do when I did not have the television on, read the paper, or listen to the news. It was just me, TruDee, the mountains, a cup of coffee, and a couple of friendly squirrels that wondered why I was on their porch.
All this to say, I will be back in the office tomorrow, refreshed and renewed in the cause of promoting justice, kindness, love, and peace in the world around me. Restored, if you will, with a new sense of the peace of being present in the world in which I live. And with a token that has traveled with me from the mountains of Colorado by the generosity of our friends, the cup that journeyed with me last week rests here at my computer’s side as a visual reminder to be at peace, here and now. I hope you’ll join me on this journey of peace.
It is one of the many ways we seek to be mindful of the Spirit and one another here at the Hill, where you are one of the community. Here where there is always an open door, a safe space, a warm welcome, and a place at the table. Not Your Ordinary Church. Until next week, God bless, and know you are never alone.
Peace and Light on Your Journey,