By:Robert J. Tamasy
勞勃．泰默西是領袖資產協會的交通部副部長，這是一個總部在美國喬治亞州亞特蘭大的非營利組織。他也是一個有38年經驗的退休新聞工作者。他寫過一本書「最佳狀態的商業：箴言給今日職場的歷久彌新智慧」（Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today”s Workplace）。他也與David A. Stoddard合著一本書「導師之心：啟發人們將其潛能發揮到極至的10個原則」（The Heart of Mentoring: 10 Proven Principles for Developing People to Their Fullest Potential）。要了解更多資訊, 可上網www.leaderslegacy.com 或上他的部落格www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com 。
思想 / 討論題目
當你聽到「平安」的這個詞，你的腦海裡會想到什麼？你如何形容內心的平安？ 你對自己現在的生活有何感覺：你是否覺得平安？請解釋。 你是否同意我們所活的這個世界的特色是混亂而不是平安？為什麼？ 本文所引述的聖經經文說，只有透過與上帝建立個人的關係才能得到真正的平安。你對此有何看法？註：若你有聖經且想要看有關此主題的其他經文，請看：
FINDING PEACE IN THE MIDST OF CHAOS
By: Robert J. Tamasy
Have you ever watched one of those beauty pageants where one of the contestants declares that if she could have one wish fulfilled, she would wish for “world peace”? Yes, that is a cliché answer – and about as likely to become reality as seeing a chicken lay an ostrich egg. But in one way or another, we all yearn for peace. Unfortunately, we live in a world where chaos – rather than peace – seems the norm.
Natural calamities constantly threaten our sense of peace – hurricanes, tsunamis, tornadoes, earthquakes, severe heat or cold. Manmade disasters can be just as unsettling – the massive, almost inconceivable oil spill in the Gulf Coast region of the United States is just one recent example. Because of industrial negligence, “peace” has been disappeared for millions, and environmental consequences likely will linger for decades.
Even in the business and professional world, peace is usually more the exception than the rule. The global recession has been a grim reminder of how quickly – and dramatically – the economy can deteriorate, destroying businesses, eliminating jobs, and severely depleting once seemingly secure personal resources. But even events of much smaller magnitude can steal our sense of inner peace as well: oppressive deadlines; canceled contracts from important customers; colleagues receiving promotions that we felt should have been ours; unexpected bad reports from the family physician.
Surrounded by such chaos, large and small, how can we possibly find peace, maintain a sense of confidence no matter what the crisis may be, no matter how great the obstacles may appear? The Bible has much to say about that, even for the 21st century workplace. Here are just a few examples:
Peace not based on circumstances. If your hope and confidence are based on circumstances, which often occur beyond your control – or people, who will often disappoint – peace will rarely, if ever, be yours. One moment, life may seem calm; the next, chaos reins. True peace can only be found, the Scriptures teach, in the unfailing, unchanging character of God. “You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you” (Isaiah 26:3).
Peace not based on this world. We attempt to find peace in material possessions, personal accomplishment and recognition, professional influence, or relationships. Yet peace that any of these can provide is temporary at best. Things get old and wear out, achievements eventually lose their significance, and dear friends and loved ones fail to live up to our expectations in one way or another. That is why Jesus made this startling declaration to His followers: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27).
Peace not based on understanding. When your life suddenly turns upside-down, loosening any anchor that you believed would hold firm in your life, peace no longer seems possible. Everything you ever trusted in seems gone. That is when faith in God, which sometimes seems irrational or unrealistic, can offer you the only hope for peace. Prayer, and thankfulness despite adversity, can direct us to deep, enduring peace, the Bible promises. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).
Will you look to God for peace today, no matter how dark your circumstances may seem?
Robert J. Tamasy is vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit corporation based in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A. A veteran of more than 38 years in professional journalism, he is the author of Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today”s Workplace (River City Press) and has coauthored with David A. Stoddard, The Heart of Mentoring: 10 Proven Principles for Developing People to Their Fullest Potential (NavPress). For more information, see www.leaderslegacy.com or his blog, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com.
When you hear the word “peace,” what comes to your mind? How would you describe having a sense of inner peace? How does your life feel right now: Do you feel at peace? Explain your answer. Do you agree with the statement that chaos – rather than peace – seems to be the prevailing characteristic of the world in which we live? Why or why not? The biblical passages cited indicate that true peace can be achieved only through a personal relationship with God. How do you respond to that perspective?NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to review some other passages that relate to this topic, consider the following verses: Psalm 37:1-7,34; Isaiah 40:28-31, 41:10; Jeremiah 29:11-13; Galatians 5:22-23; Ephesians 2:14-18