You who have found peace—live in peace. You who have been given the Peace of God—go in Peace. Spread peace throughout the land. Go out in peace and love and service to all. For in this going out you come home and bring with you all the brothers and sisters you have brought to peace. Go in peace to love and serve with all your heart. Thus are we one heart, one mind, one unity. Thus are we one in a relationship of love and peace that is our eternal home. Welcome home my brothers and sisters in Christ. Welcome home. T1:10.15
Those of you who’ve been following my blog for a while know me pretty well. At least I feel that you do. I just kind of carry on, writing on Sunday mornings about whatever is there. As I wander down one path and another in what I share, I figure you’ve heard it all about now. But then I go and start doing something new! And when I enter change, each time I enter change, you’d think I’d never experienced change before!
This spring was the start of something new. I knew it. I could feel it. I was ready to accept it. I am ready to accept it. Nothing big is happening next month or the month after, but then it starts. An event here, a talk there. My friend Kathy Scott Perry has agreed to partner with me to help coordinate this newness, and I can’t tell you how much that means to me. She’s been an event promoter for decades, knows everyone, has vision, and she “gets me.” We’ll just carry on as friends as we find our way toward answering requests for gatherings, feeling our way to doing them newly—and keeping me sane at the same time!
I’ve been like a kid exploding off the school bus at the end of the year, ready to hang up my uniform and burst out the back door, letting the screen slam as I head into the sun with all my ideas of what the summer is going to bring. But there’s such a thing as too many ideas. I mean, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t see both sides of the thing, would I? The human complexity that gets thrown in the mix with the inspiration?
I experienced it this morning. I had so many ideas roaming around that I couldn’t get a one to light so that I could start this blog. Well . . . I started one and then I got distracted. I started another and got distracted again. I suppose it could be something like having a bunch of ideas for a new book, and ‘cause you’ve got a bunch of ideas you might not ever write, or if you write, you might create nothing more than a big, huge, mess. Actually, for starting a book a mess is fine. No matter how messy the draft, it’ll start the process. The mess doesn’t get enough time to work its way out with a blog, but it does work that way with most everything. Starting—is what gets you going every time. Once you start, you enter the new. I have started . . . something new, and I have found a way not to get wigged out by it.
In addition to partnering with Kathy, I’m just telling everything to “go in peace.”
My dad used to say that. He had all kinds of versions of peace—except maybe the hippie one. We’d say prayers over dinner each night—the standard, “Bless us O Lord and these our gifts,” and then he’d follow it with, “Eternal rest grant onto them oh Lord,” and we’d say, “And let perpetual light shine upon them.” Then he’d say, “May they rest in Peace,” and we’d all say, “Amen. Then he’d say, “May their souls and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.” And we’d all say “Amen” once again. (For a long time we had sit-down meals like clockwork. Monday through Friday, Dad got home from work and we’d sit down to eat at 5:30. Just about every other house on our block was the same. My daughter Mia recently told me that sitting down to dinner with family makes her feel safe. We did the family dinner thing too, and God bless the safety of it as it lingers on.)
But my dad, he’d also say, “Peace be with you,” as he finished things up or headed out the door. He didn’t say “my girl” too much, but it seemed he always said, “My boy.” “Peace be with you my boy,” he’d say to my son, or sometimes, “Peace be with you my lad.” You remember things like that when you start sending your ideas out into the world with a hardy, “Peace be with you.”
The little quote above on peace came back to me—gave itself to me like a gift. A Course of Love brings me just the right thing at the right time . . . time after time . . . and it still amazes me. And I love it when it combines with memory, sometimes actual, physical memories like this one of my dad, and at other times memories of someone I know I am, but have forgotten, and then momentarily remember.
“Go out in peace and love and service to all.” I’m applying this not only to my “own” going out, but to my ideas too. Telling them, “Go out in peace.” I swear it’s like they have a life of their own. So why not let them go. Having them hanging around was getting me feeling a little crowded.
Here’s another gem that helped:
You who have so recently felt the peace of true acceptance are not asked to leave that peace to go in search of calling but are rather asked to listen from within that peace to what you feel called to do. This is not about the past and all those things that at one time or another you thought would bring you fulfillment. This is about recognizing who you are now. This is not a quick fix that calls you to what might have been and tells you that if you had but acted earlier you would have had the life you’ve dreamed of and maybe it is not too late. This is not about examining where the various calls you responded to previously have led you. All these notions are concerned with who you have thought yourself to be, not with who you are. They do not recognize the difference between thinking and knowing. Being who you are is what you are called to do. You are here asked to live a life as seamless as that of the birds of the air. You are asked to live a life where there is no division between who you are and what you do. This place of no division is the place of unity. T2:4.12-13
And so I say to you, Peace be with you. And I invite you too, if you’ve got the feeling, to simply start. Start to “Go out in peace and love and service to all.”