The Peace That Surpasetheth Understanding

Ah, peace. How I want some. Luckily for me, I have all of it—so no worries for me, literally. Still and all that leaves no peace left for others, who are therefore stuck struggling with their lives—worrying about their hair, their diet, the quality of their moral character, the air pressure in their tires—whilst I, enjoying a relationship with God not unlike the ever-chatty one between Chip and Dale, do maintain about my very soul and person a benevolent, radiant calm that keeps those near me in awe, and those away from me astonished that I figured out their street address and keep stopping by a nice hot cup of whatever they have on hand.

I would like to share with you my secret for an elevated consciousness—but I hate a crowded elevator. And if you don’t think two is a crowd, then you’ve never held hands in a phone booth. Let it be said that I personally do not fear crowds, for verily do I contain unto myself the power to part them, which I accomplish with nary but the confounding plenitude of my prodigious presence and a little something I like to call fake dollar bills that I throw. Besides, it’s inevitable that as I struggled to lead you upward, you’d tumble back. I’d use words like “cosmic integration” and “Godhead”—but, alas, what you’d hear would be “comic imitation” and “blockhead.” And then where would we be? I would be, again, merging my mind with the very mind of Mr. Mind Me himself, and you’d be down there somewhere, wondering if you have your shoes on the wrong foot, or if you’ve eaten the last bon-bon.

No, you must go your way, and I must go mine. With aimless ferocity you must seek the next temptation, the next diversion, the next person you can lure into stopping and petting the cute but exhausted and secretly bitter little dog you walk for that very reason. And I must away again, to be with the God who awaits me, who watches me, who keeps looking at his enormous watch and tapping his gargantuan foot at me.

Do fear not, you, for meet again we will. It will not be long (well, it won’t seem like long, to you) until one day you, too, hear the rich, pure symphony that as yet falls unto your searching ears like an asthmatic with a kazoo. What a joyous day for you that will be! I, of course, won’t be there. Not in body, at least. But in spirit? Not there either, Boscoe. For at that moment of glorious enlightenment, you will know what I have yet to forget—what all wise folk have known since ‘ere the word “folk” began its apparently unrendable association with dulcimers, humility, and wooden teeth. And that is that, in the end, it doesn’t matter what you think of God. It doesn’t even matter what God thinks of you.

What matters is what you think of what God thinks of what you think God thinks you think of him.

About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. Don't forget to sign up for his mucho-awesome newsletter. If you shop at Amazon, help support John by entering the site through this link right here--Amazon will then send John 3-4% of the cost of anything you buy before exiting the site again.

 

  • Christine

    Ahh it was with exquitsite pleasure but with complete discombobulation that this post was read. Would you be so kind as to bequeath to this minor underling some of the rapturous peace that shines forth from your very words??

  • Christine

    Thanks I do tryeth

  • Christine

    (just had to stick in my most favouritist word of all time, thought I used the discombobulation bomb quite well :P)

  • http://ww.sheppardministries.com Greta

    I would like to know what God thinketh of John Shore! Methinks he smileth…..while you breaketh the composure of the devout! Cossetted is the word that comes to mind when one ponders the calm of His peace within us.

    Thanks again for sharing your brilliance with my sludgy heart today.

  • Judy

    You leave me nearly speechless with your avalanche of words! Verily, I desire peace, like a river.

  • http://mllight.blogspot.com Mark

    Your words hath left me without any peace, merely jealousy at your sublime abilities.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Absolutely. Consider it done.

    No go, and checketh your tire pressure.

    (Good job, by the way!)

  • Cibola

    I think I understand what you think you thought that you were thinking of relating to your beloved readers.

    I hope that I have been bequeath-ed some peace also. I need it after that part in your post about two or three people on an elevator with you while you throw coins around….

  • Lynn

    Me personally thinks that ye thinking may have been recently influenced by the works of Sir Shakespeare? King Solomon? Or the ancient biblical interpreter King James? Oh… how to find the understanding and meaning to that which surpasetheth this peace you clearly attempt to describe here!

  • http://samwrites2.wordpress.com samwrites2

    John,

    You reading Chaucer's Canterbury Tales again or watching Yoda from Star Wars?

    -Sam

  • http://wineymomma.wordpress.com wineymomma

    Huh?!?!?

  • http://www.tvbblog.com teeveebee

    Loved the piece, and have even experienced the peace.

    However, I was utterly compelled to take a running start on that last sentence. Five or six times. And five or six times I came up with the same conclusion:

    “Huh?”

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    TVB: Yes. That’s the wonder of it. It’s a veritable Rubic’s cube of language.

    Mark: Ah. That’s so kind of you. Thank you.

    Judy: That WAS a bit of avalanche. I have no idea why I did that. Well. I do. But … that’s another story. But thanks!

  • Christine

    ooo oo tell us the other story John….pleeeeeeeeeasseeee

  • arlywn

    This is not the force that compells you John, you should look elsewhere for this idea of peace.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Greta: I'm sorry to hear your heart was feeling "sludgy" yesterday! (Though I have a feeling that you sludgy is still like someone else winning the lottery…)

  • http://christianseverin.wordpress.com Christian Severin

    Sir, raise your hands and slowly step away from that keyboard!

    Slowly… let’s not make any sudden moves, OK?

    Good. That’s good.

    OK, now — what were you on when you wrote this, and how do I get some myself?

  • http://skerrib.blogspot.com skerrib

    Wait–what??

    Oh I get it! Is this national Blogging-on-Crack Day?! Why did no one tell me?? Man, I always miss the best holidays!

  • http://www.kellykirbyfisher.blogspot.com Kelly

    I am so completely and utterly thrilled that I took my Adderall this morning – otherwise, you would have lost me after the first 1/2 of the first sentence. :0

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    These responses are killing me. I love it.

    All of you, really, should seek counseling.

  • FreetoBe

    I've read this twice, going back for round 3. I love, absolutely, your reference to "Boscoe." Didn't we use that late-60's, early 70's? Summer, California, hanging out at the lake? Wasn't that a chocolate drink mix, which was not really chocolate at all, but a bunch of "tasty" chemicals mixed together with water to make it seem as though you were drinking chocolate milk. Anyway, round 3.

  • Dan Harrell

    John,

    Pardon me for saying so, but it almost makes more sense read backwards :)

    I think there may be a John Lennon song in there some where.

    Good Job!

  • Christine

    mmmmmmm….nuts. I think I would be a pecan, kind of weird looking but surprisingly sweet :P

  • Judy

    John, if we need counseling, it’s only because we’ve been hanging out with you. :) Sometimes you feel like a nut. Sometimes you don’t! And, I mean that in the nicest way, of course.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Free: At first, instead of “Boscoe,” I put “Sparky.” But then Boscoe seemed better. Let me know how it reads the third time around. That’s supposed to be the Charm Time, right?

    Judy: Of all the nuts, I think I first see myself as a coconut. Because I love chocolate, and can’t spell. So that works out.

    Dan: I actually went back and started READING it backwards. And now I don’t know whether to hate or love you.

  • Candace

    I think Boscoe was the ATM password of a Seinfeld character. George? Or the tall guy who lived across the hall and turned out to be a racist? One of those two.

  • FreetoBe

    OK, round three was composed of giggles, laughs, and spilled coffee! Excellent writing!


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