Monday, February 16, 2009
Being at Peace ... Shalom
The Hebrew word for peace, shalom, means much more than simply an absence of hostilities, or a neutral position. It means a completeness, a wholeness, all parts in balance. As Christians, we can think about the central point on the cross being the position of shalom ... perfectly balanced between God and humanity (the vertical beam) and all humans with one another (the horizontal beam). When we are at peace with God and with one another, we know the true meaning of shalom.
I offer you a shalom exercise for the day. Try to experience each aspect of your life as in balance, even if you might not always think it is in balance. For example ...
The weather. Be at peace with the weather (even Michigan weather!), however it happens to be, without wishing it was hotter or colder, snowier or sunnier, simply accept and enjoy it as it comes to you today.
Your body. Be at peace with your body. If you have aches and pains, accept them as they come, just sitting with them. For one day don't wish you were fatter or thinner, younger or older. Just accept your body and enjoy it as you inhabit it today.
Your colleagues. Be at peace with the people you share the day with today. Don't expect them to be any better than they are. Understand that they have stories they have never told you, problems they have never shared. Let them be in your space with you however they are today. Just accept their humanity and enjoy it as it is displayed to you today in all its weirdness and wonderfulness.
See what it feels like to rest at that balancing point of harmony between us and God, between us and other people. Breathe deeply. Be at peace.