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As Time Goes by with Rich O'Brian: Peace by Piece


By Rich O'brian

August 30, 2023

Peace! Just what is it? What is peace? I might say, “I have peace of mind.” Or, having made a tough decision I might say, “I’m at peace with the situation.”

Then comes a broader definition of the term ‘peace.’ We can conclude, and rightly so, that if our nation is not at war, we’re at peace. But is it enough to define peace as the absence of strife?

There’s the tale of the two dogs that just didn’t get along with each other. There are times when they would fight to absolute exhaustion. Then they would lie down and glare at each other until they regained their strength and attack each other all over again.

Is that peace? Of course not.

I have an extremely close friend who some time ago went through a difficult experience on the job. But something happened, totally unexpected, that changed his whole picture. He was offered another opportunity for which he was especially well­ suited. That change brought peace to my friend.

The evening of this writing I noticed a press release that indicated, “According to

a recent poll conducted by the Pew Research Center, around sixty-five percent say inflation is their top concern ahead of the upcoming 2024 presidential election.” So, if inflation were to suddenly slowdown, would such an economic boost to the average American household bring about a sense of peace?

I’m not so sure but I am willing to test whether such a nationwide economic adjustment in the lives of more than three­ hundred-thirty million people would bring about an overall sense of peace.

I do wonder, though, if peace can be seen by a group in the way it can be understood by an individual. I’m not saying that a “group peace” cannot be real. I’m merely thinking out loud, wondering if personal, individual peace is more valuable than a peace that might be defined by a group as “relief” rather than peace.

You may have noticed the writings of the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Philippians. Paul, who had been known as Saul, became an apostle after he had his conversion experience with Jesus Christ. I think, therefore, he became totally aware of peace in his life. Here’s what he wrote: “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.” (4:6–7: NLT)

You must admit the apostle gave us a good place to start experiencing real peace. Wouldn’t you agree? I’ll make a deal with you. Once you read this in print, will you agree with Paul to take the steps that will lead to that real peace, right here in The Garden of Eads, or wherever you happen to read in this printed piece about this peace?

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