Day by day, we encounter various problems in our lives. It seems life itself consists of a series of issues we inevitably face. How can we avoid them? Can we expect a kind of peaceful life that we never face any problems?
When someone passes away, one of the typical condolences could be “rest in peace.” Leaving a life of this world, people would no longer have to face any problems. Thus, they can “rest in peace” eternally. If so, does such peace exist only outside of our lives? Is that the reality we have to accept?
Can we “rest in peace” even in this world?
Life consists of a series of events that we call problems. Quite often, however, these problems are more or less our interpretations alone. Not the events themselves, but our understandings of the events overwhelm us. We don’t suffer from them, but from how we see them.
If so, can we say that our positive interpretations can make our lives peaceful, while our negative ones make them problematic? I don’t think so. Whether it is positive or negative, as long as it is on how we see the events in our lives, we see ups and downs. We still suffer from how we see them.
If so, how can we “rest in peace” even in this world?
Let me repeat this. We don’t suffer from the events of our lives, but from how we see them. That is to say; we don’t suffer from life itself. If we can see life as it is (not it should be due to our interpretations), only then real peace would emerge from life as such. Life is, by nature, peaceful only when we stop seeing it in our selfish eyes.
We can rest in peace when we are no longer in this world. Dead people can rest in peace because they no longer see their lives through their selfish eyes. If any, they see “their lives” through God’s eyes only. Life is entirely peaceful with God as they are with Him in heaven.
Again, the question is, how can we see such real peace of life while we are still alive in this world. Is there such a thing possible?
“Death” makes it possible.
It is a sort of near-death or born-again experience. Through this experience, we have no choice at all but surrender ourselves. We can understand the truth that it is only our sinful, egotistical, and false selves that kept us from the real peace of life; kept us from seeing God’s will and love.
When and if we are no longer full of ourselves, we can see life is peaceful as such. More strictly speaking, even we can’t see such real peace of life since the subject (we) has diminished itself in this very surrender — near-death or born-again experience.
And it should never be the condition that we become zombie-like living dead. Rather, it is the selfless realm that God sees life on our behalf. We no longer suffer from how we see our lives and God’s elusive, enigmatic will in them. Life as such has been ever peaceful with God’s obvious will and love that we can see them in the way that we don’t see, but God sees on our behalf.
How can we “rest in peace” in this world? The answer is clear. We have to experience our death. And we have to realize that God lives on our behalf. That is why Paul said:
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.Philippians 1:21
And that is why Jesus said to Nicodemus:
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.John 3:3
As long as we seek ourselves in our lives, we can never rest in peace in this world. We have to wait for our physical death, leaving life in this world. Then, people would give us condolences, saying, “rest in peace.” But then, undoubtedly, life in this world is also peaceful, as God said, “very good” in His creation. It is only that our eyes can’t find His will.
And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.Genesis 1:31
Let’s surrender our selfish eyes. In doing so, we only seek God selflessly. Then, the real face of life would emerge itself as God sees it on our behalf. Jesus tells us:
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.Matthew 6:33
We can now “rest in peace” despite all the ups and downs of this world. Life has been as it is ever since as God does as He is.
Image by Daniel Reche