Peace, joy, love, hope have all disintegrated into buzz words. I often feel I need to speak in footnotes when applying any of them in a conversation. Other languages fix this dilemma by using a different word depending on the type of love being described. Spanish has several. Likewise French. The ancient Greeks had seeming myriads of words depending on the shade of meaning appropriate to the context. As much as I adore the English language, I find it wanting here.
Currently, though, the word that most irks me when used in a devil-may-care fashion is peace. Its history is so rich, so sweet. Now we apply it to bumper stickers and tacked to a hazy symbol behind pencil sketches of soaring doves. Peace has adopted a reputation of glorified nonchalance. How dreadful! The sixties hold most blame for this one, I think. As a follower of Christ, I must say I love most peace's history in relation to Him. Peace in this context is alive, productive, and worth every bit of pursuit. It's so much more than a vague hope to cover an aching heart in some sort of spiritualized Peptobisomol, all syrupy and chalky pink. It seeps down into the very essence of your heart. It guards you no matter the circumstance, keeps you assured of your place in the heart of your Creator. It acts as confirmation of your decisions made through prayers. It is the Holy Spirit's yield in a believer's tilled soul. The best aspect? You don't have to work for it. You pursue a deeper relationship with your Lord and He gives it to you. Freely. Just hands it over. Perhaps it sounds hokey to you (and I really hope it doesn't), but I find it beyond swell.