The missus and I returned Monday night from a conference in Colorado. The task of said conference was to introduce the believers (college students) to the wealth in the Scriptures and the desires, methods and reasons to attain unto it. Some rejoiced. A number did not want any of it. It seems that a comfortable level of a "don't bother me" wistfulness (a resignation to "doubt" as a normative measure of the Christian's knowledge) had taken up occupancy in their frontal lobes. The call to know ("If you get anything, get insight.") was viewed as hippies usually viewed a draft notice in 1969. Hippies didn't want to think that something greater than themselves (and what they currently enjoyed) was calling for their attention.
Some of our audience had replaced the reward of a Christian's Peace with catapulting a full body slam into a rigorous and devout ordering of another realm of self to obtain a different peace. Like with all of us they sought a realm to conquer, to bring under their command, and live in its peace. What this audience plotted to control was the endorphin rich, soy eatin', downhill/upcliff realm of recreation. They recreate as if so much fun were the "chief end of man". We all know the desire for peace but the collateral desires fed by this "different peace" are more readily assertained. The delight of God's Peace is a narrower and less evident way and few are they that find it.
They have bravely gone out as conquerors but their conquest was the taking of a nation like Canada. Sure, we could take the friendly neighbors of the Great White North in a reasonably active afternoon but what would we actually gain? Not all realms are equal in value. These REI wunderkind have found a distinct, allowable, different peace but when the guide of God's Peace is doubted and fussed at, the unstinting devotion to recreation becomes a "replacement" peace. The Recreaites are not alone. Others find it in "family values". Some others replace the pursuit of God's Peace in more innocuous hobbies like fan clubs or model railroading. Some labor at ordering a liveable peace in just their jobs or, tragically, their church. There is no immorality in what each of these involve as these "actions" mentioned are goods. The problem is in replacement. Peace must be had somewhere, somehow or we will go mad. Do you want peace? Of course you do. Do you know which category of peace is of the greatest value? Does it receive the most time, intensity of effort, absorption in research, drivenness of devotion, and collection of its appropriate social choices? It is true that our bodies are our kingdoms but every aspect of all of us is within the Kingdom of God. Your body is but a "village" with mere village rules and traditions. The Kingdom of God wishes us to set aside some of what we give to our provincial duties and find the desires and peace that would bind us to Him. The lower realms we bring under our law and in which we find some peace must not supplant the greater realm of Heaven. When God asks for our minds we must not make excuse to craft a temporary, momentarily gratifying peace from our own village.
"Bodily training is of little value but spiritual training is of much value in every way."