Not Seeking Peace from the World
By Archdeacon Habib Guirgus
The Lord said; "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you" (John 14:28).
How beautiful and
calming this saying? How good is peace and happier is the one who has it? Many
seek it and look for it, but only few receive it. Many labored but vainly
received nothing of it, because they seek it away from its path, and do not
enter from its door. Yet the world still deceives many making them believe that
it is the source of peace and comfort. It tells the rich man: why are you
standing still? Go your way, gather the 'green' and fill your volts from the
gold, and put your hearts in your treasures, kneel before it and you will find
rest. This poor man listened to the voice of arrogance, and his life perishes,
and denies himself from the pleasure of what he collected and gathered, then
leaves the world and enters life after death naked of peace!
The world also continues to deceive man by telling him: why are you sad? How come you are not enjoying my charm? Why are you not filling yourself with my entices? Why are you not satisfying yourself with the good that I am offering to quench your thirst from my zest? As such, the world decorates for everyone; his fantasy, happiness and false peace, and then leads them from one deceit to another, thus, controlling them maliciously with vain gratification to camouflage the minds. So; the evil use it for their gluttony, the greedy to collect money, the powerful for their strength, the voracious for lusts, the boastful for their honor, yet none of these receive or acquire the true peace!
The world does not grant the people anything more than anxiety, illusion, anguish, grief, restlessness, reproach, along with pain and unlimited catastrophes. This is the peace of the world; "destruction and misery are in their ways; and the way of peace they have not known" (Romans 3:16, 17). The world is nothing more than what the prophets of Israel prophesied concerning Jerusalem and foresaw for it peace when there was no peace (cf. Ezekiel 1:16). Like the man who is hungry and dreams that he is eating, and when he wakes up he finds himself still hungry, or a thirsty man dreams that he is drinking to quench his thirst, then wakes up to find himself still thirsty-This is people's lust. The same applies to those who seek peace from the world, which fulfills only weariness and pain.
Do you see it advisable after that to seek your peace from anxiety and annoyance? How can you tell the heavy waves to calm your turbulence? Can you ask of the storm to tranquil your nervousness and anxiety? The world is filled with grief and worries, turbidity and sorrow, diseases and calamities, woes and temptations, which hit the person at all stages of his life, yet the world, falsely calls for peace, while all the latter reveal there is no peace in the world.
Do you hear the sound of sighing, groaning, yelling, lamentation, crying and wailing? All these foretell the truth, and reveal for you the vanity which people call happiness. Happiness does not reside were misery and pain is. Those who seek peace in this world resemble a bird flying above the waves of the sea for a long time till it gets tired of flying, likewise, if you had a chance to grasp the bridle of this world, you will still not enjoy the so called comfort in it, for are created on the image and according to the likeness of God, therefore nothing will satisfy your soul but God, for He created you to dwell in you, for He is its true peace, none other.
O, my soul: God is your comfort and rest. He is above the earth and the heavens. O, Lord; You are my true peace "which surpasses all understanding" (Philippians 4:7), for in this peace I find rest "and lie down in peace, and sleep" (Psalm 4:8).
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