†††††††††††† First Presbyterian Church
†††††† 601 South Texas†††† P.O. Box 24
Mercedes, TX† 78570
† fpcmercedes.org†††††††††††††† firstname.lastname@example.org
Pastor:† Esther Hughes, CLP
†Symptoms of Inner Peace
1. The tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than from fears
2. The ability to enjoy each moment
3. Loss of interest in judging self and others
4. Loss of interest in conflict
5. Disinterest in interpreting the actions of others
6. Loss of the ability to worry
7. Frequent episodes of appreciation
8. Feeling connected to others and nature
9. Frequent attacks of smiling through the eyes of the heart
10. The increasing tendency to let things happen rather than to make them happen
If you have all or even most of the above symptoms your condition of peace may be so far advanced as to not be treatable!
We usually associate the word "symptom" with something ominous, an indication of illness or disease perhaps; symptoms are symptomatic of something - and it's usually not good. This is also true of words like "diagnosis" and "prognosis" - it's best when none of these words apply to us.
But, as the above list indicates, there can be positive as well as negative symptoms, signs not only of illness but also of health. Symptoms of inner peace are an indication of spiritual vitality, a delicate state of being in which we are at one with God, and life, ourselves, others, and nature.
What can disrupt inner peace as quickly as the awareness are our faults, and focusing on the faults of others. Our inner peace goes out the window when we want things to be different than they are.†† It is important to be both nonjudgmental and compassionate toward ourselves as people who are flawed and toward others.
Until we learn to accept our less-than-perfect selves, confess and accept Godís forgiveness, both peace and happiness will elude us and we will create havoc, not peace, for those around us.
Inner peace can be contagious. When we spend time quietly acknowledging and accepting ourselves, others, and the world as both broken and blessed, that peace can be fanned into a full-blown disease, an untreatable and incurable affliction that will make the world a healthier place.† We have mostly not been focused on inner peace, but on division, and animosity, and judgement.† We can watch it in the news daily, we can see it in our churches, what if we practiced number 7 and 8, and 10, and had faith that God is truly working Godís purpose out?
It would make a big difference, in ourselves and therefore to those around us.† As we come and take communion on this first Sunday of the month, with others all around the world, may we know that Christ said do this in remembrance of me, who was the prince of Peace.† Letís look to having some of these symptoms.† Happy October.