As I thought about it, though, I wasn't sure I wanted to choose the word peace. When I looked it up in the thesaurus, I found words like privacy, solitude, ease. I have nothing against those concepts; in fact, they are probably way too important to me. They point to a conception of peace that is largely me-focused. I need some of that kind of peace in my life, but more than that, I need the peace Robbie referred to, the shalom that can be defined as completeness, wholeness. Cornelius Plantinga defines it this way (I found this quotation at the Wikipedia article linked above):
"The webbing together of God, humans, and all creation in justice, fulfillment, and delight is what the Hebrew prophets call shalom. We call it peace but it means far more than mere peace of mind or a cease-fire between enemies. In the Bible, shalom means universal flourishing, wholeness and delight – a rich state of affairs in which natural needs are satisfied and natural gifts fruitfully employed, a state of affairs that inspires joyful wonder as its Creator and Savior opens doors and welcomes the creatures in whom he delights. Shalom, in other words, is the way things ought to be."
So I decided that instead of peace, my OLW this year would be SHALOM. I could spend a lifetime, or at least a year, unpacking all the meanings of this word, and the rightness, the way things ought to be inherent in it. SHALOM isn't an absence of conflict, a walking-on-eggshells "keeping the peace," but an active promoting of restoration and wholeness.