Our family will visit the cemetery today. Someone from the American Legion will hand us poppies. The pastor will say a few words to those who’ve gathered.
And then, we will bow our heads for a moment of silence. No one will speak. The air will fill with birdsong and the sound of flags flapping in the breeze.
In that moment, I will pray as I always pray: for peace to rule in hearts everywhere.
That’s how I’ve celebrated Memorial Day since I was a kid – with a few moments in a cemetery, observing and remembering. Maybe your Memorial Day looks similar to mine. Or maybe you’ll spend your day at a lake or a park or around the grill in your backyard. Wherever you may be today, may your day be filled with peace. And may you find a way to share a bit of your peace with the people around you.
The world feels short on peace these days, doesn’t it?
Mother Teresa once said, “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” I worry, sometimes, that we forget that we really are in this together. It’s a noisy, hectic, I’m-right-you’re-wrong world out there. Today, I want to make a special effort to be less concerned with making a point and more concerned with making some peace.
If there really is going to be peace on earth, as the song says, “Let it begin with me.”
If there will be peace on Facebook,
or around the dinner table,
or in a sanctuary,
or out in this warring world,
or in a family squabble,
or in the midst of protest,
or on a lake,
or in some legislative chamber under a golden dome,
or in a world groaning under its own weight . . .
if there be peace here, or if there be peace anywhere on earth, then let it begin with me.
Here are six ways you can create peace in your life today:
Serve someone. There’s so much wrong in this world, which makes us angry and sad — as it should! One great way to bring more peace into the world is to bring a little peace to someone whose life is in turmoil. That’s one powerful way of taking our anger and turning it into a higher purpose. Find a person or organization near you who could use a bit of the love that you have within your heart.
Heal one piece of the wound within you. It’s hard to “pass the peace” when our insides are in turmoil. Take time this week to tend to your pain. It can feel overwhelming to think about fixing all that aches within you. If necessary, pick one piece and tend to it. Take that bit of wound to a trusted friend. Pray about it with your pastor. Write it on a slip of paper and burn that paper in your own personal bonfire as a way to say, “Good riddance.” (Invite a friend and ask her to bring the marshmallows.)
Point out the good you see. Take a picture of something that made you smile and post it to your social media channels. Of course, there is a time and place for us to use our social media platforms to point out injustice, but there is also a time and place for us amplify the good. Go, therefore, and show us your kittens, sunsets, and cute babies.
Resolve at least one conflict in your life this week. There may be someone who has gotten on your last nerve or who has stepped on your toes in a major way. The elephant is still in the room. Talk about that elephant, release it into the wild, and then move within that freed-up space toward a resolution.
Forgive someone. Nelson Mandela famously said, “Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.” You don’t have to forget, but when you choose to forgive, you have decided to stop drinking the poison.
Find inner peace. There are a lot of places one can go to find peace – a hiking trail, a sanctuary, the beach. But ultimately, the only way we’ll find true peace is when we look to Jesus.
And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts.
Colossians 3:15 (NLT)
This post was originally written by Jennifer Dukes Lee in May 2017.
Wherever you may be today, may your day be filled with peace. And may you find a way to share a bit of your peace with the people around you. #memorialday -@dukeslee: Click To Tweet Leave a Comment
This was exactly what I needed to read today. Thank you for sharing simple ways to bring more peace.
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
Great small steps to take to harness some peace in our lives. I don’t know anyone who couldn’t use a little more peace. Look for the good and point it out…Amen! How about give thanks for all those who have fallen and all those who serve so that we may enjoy our freedom today. Let’s dwell on that with gratitude. Did you know there is an exact minute for remembrance of those who have died? It’s 3 pm. local time. Amtrak engineers will all sound their horns at 3 pm. Listen for it, remember, and give thanks.
Beth Williams says
This world was running on hyper drive. Then suddenly we halted everything. Everyone panicked & there seemed to be no peace. We missed our normal pace & people. It has been going so long that most have lost their peace & calm. I believe God wanted to get our attention. He wants us to commune with Him. We were so busy rushing from activity to activity that we didn’t take time to talk with Him on a daily basis. Literally we were becoming worn out people. You have given us some great soul care ideas to help ease our weary souls. Your ideas are simple & easily manageable. We should always think about others. More so in times of crisis. Just do one act of kindness-call/text or write a card to a friend. Offer to shop for those who can’t get out, buy needed supplies for organizations, etc. Just look outside of yourself & see the needs around you. Helping others always gives us more joy. God said “it is better to give than to receive.” For true inner peace just turn & talk to Jesus. Ask Him to alleviate all your fears & open your eyes & ears to the world outside of yourself.
May God bless all our soldiers on this Memorial day 🙂
Thank-you for sharing your thoughts, and ideas to help create inner peace, not only for ourselves, but for others as well.
May God bless all soldiers
Blessings to all,
Nancy Ruegg says
Thank you for these wise steps we can take toward peace, Jennifer. It’s easy to blame our lack of peace on others: the kids who squabble, the boss who grumps, the commuters who annoy, the neighbor who irritates, even world leaders who exasperate, etc. But the trait of peace is accessible from within, always available IF we keep our minds focused on God (Isaiah 26:3). Lord, help me do just that at the first sign of worry or discontent!