Poverty, Prosperity or Peace

I have been engaged in several conversations of late wherein we have discussed the felt impacts of deep challenge. Some were under attack at work, others finding too much month at the end of the money, and still others longing for more meaningful impacts through what they do.

iStock_000016548494XSmallIn all of these situations I find myself remembering that there is a blend of BE-ing and DO-ing — unto BECOMING. Who we are and what we do will lead to what we become.

We can honestly wrestle with the cost or felt loss. There is no shame in this. Ignorance may be bliss, but awareness and introspection may serve us better. The kicker is that during our introspection and pondering of being under attack, financially broke or feeling in an impact deficit can seem like we have followed a call into the wilderness, and found nothing more than a dried up oasis — a place where  “there” looks a whole lot like “nowhere”!

In reflection, I find that the relative prosperity of external relationships, finances and felt impacts are surface issues. We really long for something much deeper. We long not for prosperity over poverty, but rather peace and contentment in the midst of the situation. Neither prosperity nor poverty have any direct correlation to peace. Peace is a condition of the heart, not the circumstance — but it is the challenge of circumstance that serves to work a deeper peace in our heart – if we allow it.

If we want to build body muscle, we must endure the challenge of exercise – which is often a relatively painful experience. Though the challenge feels like our enemy, it is ultimately serving us. If we want the strength, but are not up for the demands of the workout, we remain unchanged.

So too with challenge in relation to peace and contentment. We want the peace, but fear the conflict of broken relationships, shortfall of finance and/or felt loss of impact, and forfeit the reward of deepening peace.

Perhaps one of the greatest challenges to courage is contentment. To remain in a steady state of peace regardless of our circumstance.