Perfect Peace II
Focus on God
The Quaker silence undoubtely leads many to peace. Long before I became a (Methodist) Quaker, I was into silence, not the corporate silence of the meeting but silence in the closet. (I wonder if many Quakers enter the silence on the second through seventh days; I know some who do.)
Corporate silence was (and still is) a lot harder for me than solitary silence, my brain over-stimulated by all the people in whose company I sit: who are they? what could I say to them? All this is a grave impediment to the perfect peace Isaiah talked about.
I wonder about these people whom I know so little! Are they into silence or are they thinking about the day's cooking or yesterday's golf score.
These are some of the temptations with which the devil tries to keep me from silence; I still do better at home in the quietness of early morning.
I wonder if Quaker silence promotes peace. As a whole Quakers are an extremely peaceable people; many of them are ardent peace activists. In fact some of them are militant peaceniks; I'm not thinking of people like Tom Fox who gave his life to the pursuit of peace in an utterly peaceable way. I'm thinking about some other Quakers I know, who push the peace testimony on everyone, until I'm tempted to send them a copy of Being Peace.
(If your mind and heart are full of dis-ease, this may be projected onto a militancy against others, like the poor devils picketing in front of 'abortion clinics'.)
The peace we all need is the peace within; then it radiates. How can I find that kind of peace? How can I achieve that peaceful mind and heart in the midst of a fallen and falling world? Maybe I can pursue this in the next post.