Go In Peace

Presented at the Takoma Park Metaphysical Chapel Worship Service, March 30, 2003

I heard this song for the first time about a year ago. It had been a very difficult day, and I had read that Michelle Shocked's CD was full of themes of forgiveness and moving on in life. So I bought it, I listened to it, and when I heard "Go In Peace," I had to play that song over and over.

You're looking for peace
It can't be found.
You know it's true.
Peace finds you.

Download Soundclip:
"Go In Peace" from my CD (MP3 format)

I felt this song had been written solely and directly for me. It wasn't an entirely new message, but one that crystallized previous lessons. It was a reminder I needed. I had gone through a period when life seemed pretty hopeless, and I'd come through it with the realization that I'd have a happier life if I quit struggling and just allowed God to give me happiness. I could stop searching for it. It would find me.

I thank God for the crisis I went through, because without it, I'd still be working very hard trying to achieve what would only be a very tenuous peace. Instead, a profound peace is available to me without my having to work at all.

I'm thankful for the lowest, most difficult times I've experienced. Because when life got hard enough, and I felt shut down enough, all I could do was sit and breathe. So I spent a lot of time just sitting and breathing. And whaddya know? That's the magic formula! For the first time, I began to know and understand God. Sit and breathe. Have you tried it?

Of course God had been there all along. But I was very busy. I was moving too fast to notice God, or to think I needed God. When things were going fine, I just figured, yeah, things are great, God is good. I had believed in God, but I hadn't understood what it would mean to KNOW God. And suddenly, God was there for the knowing.

My experience was not unique. Because, while God is present in all the beauty and glory of life, God is also everywhere else. And for a lot of us, our first intimate encounter with God is in Heartache. In Crisis. In Conflict. The song continues with this point:

Peace finds you in the cold and the dark and the deep in despair.
It finds you in the sick and the dying and crying of tears.
It finds you in the battles of fighting, deep in the valley of fear.
And pain may never cease, but I believe we Go In Peace.

Looking back on how good crisis was for me, I have hope that all crisis holds promise of something more beautiful than what could be gained without it.

We're right to strive for peace and happiness in our lives, our jobs and our relationships. And we're right to demonstrate, and march, and make our voices heard for the cause of peace in our world. But while we do that, and if we ever feel discouraged, we can find constant courage in knowing that God's love isn't influenced by the results of our efforts, or by the outcome of the war that wages in spite of us.

No matter how big a problem seems, it can't be bigger than the gift of peace and love that God gives. Even global problems are puny compared to God's love. And even war offers promise because God is often found in conflict.

Here's how Michelle Shocked finishes her song.

You're looking for Love
Looks like you found it.
Right here right now.
I think we're surrounded.

So lift your hands high, and surrender to its power and might.
Give in to its grace and its glory, shining beautiful light.
Now, lay down your armor, your hurt, your anger, your fright.
Reaching out for peace. Discovering you're in the arms of love.