Mom, Dad, I'm about to tell on myself a little bit. Many may remember the beer, Red Dog. It was a favorite of mine many years ago. Under the bottle caps were random symbols and sayings that were nothing and meant nothing, but as we drank, and drank, and drank, these symbols and sayings would begin to make sense and mean things. Often, they'd become funny, and at times they were even philosophical. I could give a list of names of those familiar with this experience, but I will only incriminate myself this time, fellas. Once sobered up, the caps went right back to nihility. In our foolishness, something was made out of nothing; in our foolishness
I firmly believe that no human being can make something out of nothing. I believe in a higher Power, Who is absolutely capable of such. Think about everything that mankind has claimed to create, invent, or discover. All that we have and all that we are, are creative manipulations of matter pre-existent. Not everyone believes in God, the way I do. That's perfectly fine. Every man and woman on the face of this planet has a right to do, feel, and believe whatever they might. There are those who would still claim that they've been able to bring forth things from nothingness, but that would be like me and my boys in drunken foolishness, thinking that bottle caps shared metaphysical enlightenment.
A mind given to foolishness, believes in foolishness, and swears by foolishness. The star athlete may say that he is who he is, by his own doing. He put in the work, the conditioning; he lifted the weights, studied the game and ran the laps. Therefore, he created his own success. Well, young one, do you truly know that of which you're made? Think about your blood, the DNA with which your body is infested. From whence does it come? Every bit of you belonged to someone else before you, dating back centuries, and ultimately to a man and woman, known as Adam and Eve. So, without Adam and Eve, you would not have the biological make up that houses your talent and skill to be honed, into making you the awesome, famous, and wealthy athletic star you are. Even down to your mental, physical, emotional dispositions, you are not your own.
Are you Christian? Do you believe in God? Do you believe in Jesus Christ; that He is the only begotten son of God, sent to show us the Way, die for our sins, be raised from the dead, and offer us salvation? If you've answered "yes" to these, I'd assume that you also believe that Jesus Christ is the Word of God made flesh. I'd also assume that you believe in Adam and Eve and that God created the human race through them. Are my assumptions running in congruence with your beliefs? If you believe these truths to be self evident, then why is it so hard for all of us to fully, truthfully, and genuinely see each other as family, children of the Most High, and worthy of love. You can't say you love God and hate a specific race of people! You can't say that you love God, and oppress, abuse, or enslave your brothers and sisters! You can't say you love God and be anything less than loving to your fellow man. Like it or not, we are all kin!!
" Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen." -1 John 4:20-
I've struggled for days, on how I would start this piece on peace. Several instances come to mind, of my past, where I realized the value and importance of peace to my soul. Not until this morning, after a brief textversation with my eldest child, am I able to get these thoughts down my neck, passed my shoulders, through my arms, to my fingers, and finally to my keyboard. I've mentioned many times that this child was the first ever true possessor of my heart. Joy, peace, and happiness, she filled me with from the time we knew she was in the making. She and I were bonded from the start. With me, she found peace and I, with her. The numerous nights of her infancy, we spent in the recliner, helped me to realize the importance of peace in the home. For a while, it was my heartbeat and voice that best soothed her. Little did I know that such a relationship between father and daughter would spark rifts of resentment and jealously in the relationship between husband and wife. After 8 years of marriage, such truths were admitted, but that's another novel.
Some spirits mesh well, while others are like rock and water. It was not until I began to pour my love and life into my daughter and eventually my son, that I realized how unequally yoked I was with their mother. Spiritually, we were and have always been on different planes. Such only leads to conflict; lack of peace. It came up in a conversation last Tuesday, when discussing early rising. There was a time when I was up, super early, every day. Yes, partly because of my having to get the kids ready for school/daycare and such, but also because I simply could not wait to get away from the spiritual tension and turmoil that existed between my wife and I. Finding peace and rest in our bedroom was like attempting to snooze in a straw hut, in the midst of a hurricane carrying millions of vials of nitro-glycerin. It was what it was. I'd go to work early each day, just to be away sooner. Outside of work, my kids accompanied me everywhere. I don't share these things to be messy, but to share a certain truth, which took me years to come to grips with and accept. We go into most relationships based on feelings, emotions, tradition, and what's considered to be the worldly norm. It is my opinion that the the number of relationship initiated without some form of spiritual guidance, far exceed the number of those initiated with it. We can't make something out of nothing. We certainly can't make work, what God has not ordained or willed to be.
The Bible teaches us; "Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?" Light and dark cannot live at peace, with one another; a lesson I try to get my kids to understand. We tend to only apply this scripture to marriage, but it actually applies to every kind of a relationship in which we can possibly find ourselves. This is why we teach our kids to choose their friends wisely. This is why many people prefer the process of courting over dating. This is also why we urge our sons and daughters, as teenagers, NOT to invest their whole hearts in crushes and puppy love. We've been there and done that. Not too long ago, someone made a comment to the effect of, "If there is absolutely no conflict or disagreements between me and my kids, then I'm not doing my job." Especially when said kids are teenagers.
Anyway, peace is priceless! Imagine going over 8 years with no rest for your soul, heart, or mind. Imagine coming to the truth that it's ultimately due to a choice you've made hastily or without proper guidance or advice. Imagine the fact that it only takes one choice to gain that ever so elusive peace. Would you make it? How important is peace to you, your life, your family, your kids? "Pray for discernment," my mother often told me in my younger years. I urge you all to do the same in your personal, work, and family relationships, as well as friendships. I also implore you all to pray for the courage to do what is required of you, when discernment shows you the way. If your soul or spirit is restless where you are, and if you find peace and joy each and every time you are away from that place or person or group of people, then you may be off track of what it is you are called to do and be.
I think back to that Tuesday talk with Richard Atkinson, about those many mornings when I couldn't wait to get out of the house, due to the lack of peace there, between my other half and I. Then, it hit me that now, my home is truly my refuge. It should be so, that a soul feels most welcomed and at peace, at home. I have that now, after many years of poor choices and mistakes. I am no longer in a hurry to leave home. Time at home, with my woman and our kids is of greatest value! The peace that my soul finds here is priceless!!
Those who have ears, let them hear.......
Bryan Hollomon Williams