Lunch breaks are a fascinating thing. They bring all sorts of people together from all different types of backgrounds and occupations to one common location: a restaurant.
I sat down for lunch one day, not really expecting anything productive to come out of it. I was in a middle table, not really close to any wall, so I could hear conversations from multiple groups around me. To my left, two young men were having lunch and talking.
The first thing I heard when I sat down was, “Now, the Bible doesn’t say that drinking is a sin. Only drinking in excess.”
Interesting, I thought, as I ate a waffle fry.
“What defines excess?” asked the second guy.
I took a sip of lemonade. Excellent question.
The first guy thought for a second and finally said, “One way you can know if it’s excess is if you find your peace in it. Do you find your peace in the alcohol, in getting drunk?”
And that’s where I stopped listening because that thought took hold of me. The question of where we as humans find our peace, our security, is a very daunting question, isn’t it? The list of possibilities is of Great Wall of China proportions.
What do you find peace in? Where does your security lie?
Is it in something fickle, like money? Something that could be gone by the time the sun comes up tomorrow, like your wealth, possessions, or status?
Is it something that will eventually run out, like food or drink? Is it something that has negative effects on your life, like alcohol, drugs, or pornography?
Or maybe you find peace in people, in being surrounded by friends. You require a crowd in order to be at ease. Maybe you find peace in a single relationship, such as your spouse or sibling or child.
Do you find peace in your occupation, your 9-5? Is your job what brings you comfort? If so, I must ask, what happens when that shift ends every day?
Maybe you find peace in busyness. You have trouble saying no to things, because you only feel at ease when you’re constantly doing, constantly going, constantly achieving. And if all that stopped, you might feel empty or lost.
Some of us (this is where my mind immediately jumped) find peace in our own plans.
I’m the type of person who naturally wants to plan. I want to know the step after the next step. I want a plan and two to back it up. I just want to know. I long for safety, for security in a choice before I even consider making it. And many, many times, I’ve realized that I’m putting all my faith in my own ability to plan out my life.
I’ve been guilty of finding peace in something as flimsy and whimsical as my own plan.
If you find your peace in any of these things, you have built your house on faulty ground.
The truth is, if your peace rests in anything other than a relationship with Jesus Christ, your peace — your security — is in danger. If you place your peace in the bottle, that bottle will always run out, and you’ll need another. If you’re comforted by the checklists of life, you won’t find satisfaction there, because there will always be more to do, and you’ll resemble a dog chasing his tail. If you find peace in your job, your friendships, or your money (just to name a few), then you’re drawing your peace from something you might not have tomorrow.
So what happens? What happens if you find all your peace, your security, and your comfort in something finite, something with an expiration date?
Chaos. The opposite of peace.
But not with Jesus. Jesus is eternal. Look at His Word. The Bible has been around since before anyone can remember, and it’s the most published book in history, no contest. The Bible continues to be reproduced today, finding its way into new languages and into new corners of the globe.
The testimony of people who have had a relationship with Jesus Christ shows the difference that walking with Him really makes in life. He provides a daily bread, an eternal peace, a living water that doesn’t leave you thirsty, but leaves you fulfilled and satisfied.
If you go with the world’s method, there are many, many routes that all lead you to the same destination: emptiness.
But if you want true satisfaction, true meaning, there is only one option, only one hope.
Jesus Christ. With Him, something better is offered, something more powerful and lively than anything this crazy world has to offer. A relationship with Him. And that is the only place eternal peace can be found.