Digging Deeper into the Word Spiritual Development

Peace Framework : Part II

Author: Rachel Kidd

In the first blog in this series, we talked about peace and what it really is. We also introduced the Peace Framework, a triangular model of the modes of peace.  

The first side of the triangle, place, is something we might not think of initially when we think of peace. But, it is a crucial piece that can really impact your overall feeling, whether peaceful or chaotic.  

What is Place? 

I don’t know if this is a universal experience, but in my family, nothing motivates us to clean the house from top to bottom like having company. Any time we host a party or get together, everyone pitches in, a frenzy of cleaning products and stashing clutter away. We always pull it together for a sparkling home, complete with scented candle, by the time people arrive.   

Why are we so motivated to make our place, our home, sparkle just for company? Why don’t we feel that drive to clean, to prepare, for ourselves? 

It comes down to asking yourself, how am I motivated?  

Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Motivation  

Intrinsic motivation is doing something for its inherent value and what it means to you, without outside influence. Extrinsic motivation is doing something for the outcome, whether that be a reward or to avoid punishment.  

Understanding what is compelling you or motivating you is a great way to get to know your needs better and how to better motivate yourself.  

How hopeful are you that your place will be peaceful for you?  

Place encompasses your environment and how it makes you feel. This could be your home, your city, your job/office, even your digital spaces like a desktop or phone. I like to include mental state here as well. 

When my mind is cluttered, my physical space often reflects that. I feel chaotic inside and so I let things like dishes and clutter pile up. It’s a vicious cycle, because the messier my apartment gets, the more overwhelmed I feel. It takes quite a bit of effort, and medication for me, to tackle the mess that has accumulated.  

But, once I do clean and declutter, I feel so relieved. I feel accomplished and proud of my clean space. I then find it much easier to focus on my work for the day, especially working from home.  

In fact, I’ve begun to find the act of cleaning to be meditative, a menial task with short-term payoff that doesn’t require much mental energy. Like a runner feels when they hit their stride, the rest of the mental clutter fades away and they can only feel the soles of their feet hitting the pavement.  

That’s how I feel when I get deep into cleaning mode, focused on my hands and my  

How hopeful are you that your place will be peaceful for you?  

Mary & Martha 

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” 

 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” –Luke 10:38-42 

The story of Mary and Martha is one of my personal favorites. Like me and my family, Martha is worried and focused on preparing the house for their guests.  

This may be her personality, perhaps she wants her home to be welcoming to Jesus (I can imagine we all would!) and His disciples. This could also be reflective of the gendered expectations placed on women of the day, who would have never been permitted to learn from the Torah with men.  

Martha becomes exasperated at doing all the housework alone, while her sister Mary sits with the men at Jesus’ feet. Perhaps Martha was worried for her sister, fearful of what might happen because of Mary’s flagrant disregard for the societal rules placed upon her.  

That’s why I love Jesus’ response here to Martha’s concern. In direct opposition to what is expected of Him, Jesus tells her that Mary has made the right choice in sitting and choosing to listen.  

Mary sought peace at the feet of Jesus, while Martha sought peace in preparing the home for their guests. I wonder if Martha might have felt more comfortable seeking the teachings of Jesus had the cultural norms of the time been more lenient? Or perhaps she might have joined Mary once everything was prepared, feeling at peace with a clean home and dinner on the table.  

Finding your Place 

Like me, like Mary and Martha, we all seek comfort and peace in place. Determining who you are and what you need out of your place is key as you seek peace within the peace framework.  

Maybe you’re a Martha, you have a hard time hearing from God when your home is cluttered or you prefer quiet time while you clean.  

Or maybe you’re a Mary, who seeks peace first at the feet of Jesus, regardless of the societal expectations placed upon you, because you need that peace first.  

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