There is an idea in the Jewish faith about Shalom–about peace.
The shalom experienced by Adam and Eve in the midst of the garden with their Creator was fourfold. They experienced wholistic peace (1) between God and themselves, (2) between each other, (3) within themselves, and (4) with nature.
After Adam and Eve made the choice to turn from God in their first sinful act, Shalom in Eden was broken.
Instead of living in peace with God, they hid from Him, made excuses to Him, and were divided from Him by their sin (Genesis 2:8). No longer at peace with each other, husband and wife turned on each other, casting blame (Genesis 2:12). They hid from God, full of shame at their own nakedness (Genesis 2:10). The entire episode in Eden ultimately destroyed mankind’s peace with nature as well.
So how do we find peace on earth? Is the peace of Eden achievable?
I don’t think we’ll find complete peace on earth until Christ’s return, but we can work toward peace. We can start with Sabbath peace.
Peace Between God and People
We cannot fix peace between God and “people”, but we can work on peace between God and ourselves. To find peace this Sabbath, take a step toward your Creator. If there are barriers between yourself and your King, you have the power to remove them. Confess those things you’re sure are blocking your peace. Repent. If you don’t know how, pray about it. Spend time in the Word, meditate on it. Look at Bible reading plans or devotionals about building your relationship with God. You cannot be at peace with someone you don’t know. To experience peace between yourself and God this Sabbath, first you must know Him.
Peace Between People and Each Other
Sabbath is not a time to burden yourself with the drama that can sometimes occur in relationships, but it is a time that you can experience peace with others like none other! Instead of burdening yourself with the struggles of a bad relationship, celebrate the good relationships you have. Pray fervently for the people in your life with whom you don’t live peacefully. Practice tolerance and patience. Be present with others. Listen well. Speak with kindness. Make the people around you important to you. To experience peace between yourself and others this Sabbath, interact with others peacefully.
Peace Within Ourselves (Inner Peace)
Skip the workout. Don’t weigh yourself. Do something you love. Journal. Work on a hobby. Get outdoors. Spend time in the quiet (without an electronic device). Practice mindfulness in everything you do: worship, meals, parenting, writing, everything. Forgive yourself for your own shortcomings and mistakes. It’s not about “self care”, but “self love”. Caring for yourself in the moment with a candy bar and bubble bath is quite different than loving yourself longterm with a healthy lifestyle and inner peace. To experience peace with yourself this Sabbath, give yourself grace.
Peace Between People and Nature
Since Eden, mankind has been at odds with the animal kingdom. We fear animals, even those smaller than us (spiders) and hunt those bigger than us (lions). We terrorize nature with garbage and filth. We abuse it for its resources, and only enjoy it when it’s convenient for us. The truth is that people and nature can heal each other. Spend time in nature this Sabbath. Meet some animals in the wild, cuddle your pet, learn something you can do to help the nature in your community. To experience peace with nature this Sabbath, spend time with nature.
Find an activity this Sabbath that includes all four facets of Shalom: peace with God, others, ourselves, and nature. When you can experience this type of peace on Sabbath, each of your weekdays will also be peaceful. Your life will be more peaceful. Your heart and relationships will be peaceful.