St. Paul's adopted a motto back in January: "Jesus Guided, Intentionally Inclusive, Peace Seeking, Justice Committed." Sunday mornings we can read it in our worship bulletins, we may hear it in a sermon, we may sing it -- sing lyrics that support it -- in a hymn. Articles in our monthly newsletter often refer to it. Why? Are we so forgetful that we have to remind ourselves at every opportunity what our motto says? For me, I like to hear it again, and again. Each time I encounter it, I pause to think. And most times I ask myself: "How is my life Jesus guided? How is my life intentionally inclusive?" Etc. If I come up with answers, they usually seem incomplete, but hopeful.
Peace seeking has been on my mind lately. In surveys I suppose peace rates right up there alongside happiness as a goal. A peace within oneself. Peace in ones home. Nine out of ten beauty pageant finalists want world peace. That's nice. In meditation I frequently picture myself by a river -- a tranquil, peaceful scene. There's a song that goes "I've got peace like a river in my soul." I can sing it even when the peace in my soul is more like a puddle.
Am I being dishonest with myself? In a theology class I heard a professor speak of "creative tension." We may believe concept A but we may also believe concept B, even when A and B appear to be incompatible. We hold A in tension with B, so my professor explained. What he didn't explain is how to get past the mental struggle involved.
Holding something in tension is like finding a balance. Peace seeking is like that. Amid my competing ideas and desires, there is peace when I find a place of balance. Yet ideas and desires change, and so does the balance point. Thus peace seeking is ongoing, to relocate and find anew that grasp of creative tension.
Peace and tension, an odd pairing of words. Can there be peace without tension? Yes, it's called sleeping. Living awake I seek balance in my life, my family, my world. I seek creative tension. Tomorrow I seek it again.
Come to a Gathering this Sunday,
August 7, at 9:00 am.
No matter the weather, it's always the season for renewal. We ponder questions, meditate, share and sing. Join us for a splash of adventure.