There’s a tremendous difference between peace and quiet.
Peace comes from God. It’s a condition much like joy, in that it’s more of a spiritual condition than an emotion, and can manifest itself even in the most turbulent times.
Quiet, on the other hand, is what happens when you escape the turbulence. You may find a dim reflection of peace, and wrongly believe it to be peace, but it’s not peace. It’s merely quiet. Meanwhile, those you left behind remain in the turbulence. Because you pulled away, neither you nor they will share in life’s journey.
“I want to talk with you today about a subject that touches every one of us. Loss. Sometimes we’re faced with things we think we just can’t handle. The death of a loved one. A father. A child. And we strive to find a reason behind it. When those reasons don’t make sense, we question God. We look up and we say, “God! How could you do this to us? How can you put so much on our plate?”
“But we’re not operating on God’s timetable, are we? We don’t understand God’s plan. How can we? Let me tell you: This is where faith comes in. Faith can help us see his message in our own lives. Perhaps this loss is there to teach us not to take the ones we love for granted, to cherish simple, mundane moments, to love others as fiercely, and as bravely, and as compassionately as we can. And in that love, human love, forgiving, relentless, unconditional love, you’ll find peace.”
Source: Chicago Fire, Season 3, Episode 18: “Forgiving, Relentless, Unconditional.” Chaplain’s speech at the end of the episode.
The kind of “peace” some religious factions are selling these days isn’t peace at all. It’s a lie. True, Godly peace transcends turmoil, trials, and tribulations. It’s right there with you in the thick of it. If you’ve found what you think as “peace” only after you’ve removed yourself from these normal attributes of life, you’re either fooling yourself or allowing yourself to be fooled, as that’s not peace. That’s merely quiet, and it’s a lonely one at that.
False peace is the easy way out. It’s the low road. There’s often an immediate release of tension, often accompanied by the false prophets peddling it saying, “There! You see?” as they lead you into blindness.
Doing right often requires us to take the hard road, or the “high road” as mentioned in English lore. It’s called the high road because it’s a lot harder to walk than the low road. Not only does it take more effort to reach — quite a climb, in fact — but the air is thinner once you get there, it’s usually more rocky and uneven, and you may not have as much company along the way. But it’s the right road, God’s “narrow path,” indeed the only path for those of us who call ourselves Christians.
True peace is from God. It empowers you to stay in the fight, “loving others as fiercely, and as bravely, and as compassionately as we can.” It builds. It restores. It never gives up hope, for true peace comes from God, and God is love. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” – 1 Cor 13:4-8
Take the high road. Restore a relationship. No matter what’s behind, remember Paul: “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Cor 13:13-14