Where to Find Peace in Turbulent Times

Peace is a rare virtue in our modern world. Anxiety is commonplace. With civil unrest in the Middle East, protests in various U.S. state capitals, economic turmoil, and severe weather, there is plenty to worry about.

St. Anne’s Skete on Mt. Athos - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/papadimitriou, Image #1644105

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/papadimitriou

Today, I was thinking about how important is is for those leading in these turbulent times to be at peace and convey peace. It is the one thing people need now more than ever: calm, confident leadership. But where do you get that? It’s not something you can fake.

As I was thinking about this, I remembered a trip I took in the spring of 1994. I went on a spiritual pilgrimage to Mt. Athos, an independent monastic republic just southeast of Thessaloniki, Greece. I went with four friends for three weeks. It was an amazing experience—truly one of the top five of my life.

In case you don’t know, Mt. Athos is a major spiritual center for Orthodox Christianity. It is home to some twenty monasteries on a peninsula that, though connected by land, is only accessible by boat. The earliest monasteries on the “Holy Mountain” (as it is often called) date back to the 8th century.

During our time on Mt. Athos, we visited the ancient monasteries of Xenophontos, Iviron, Philotheou, Simonopetra, Gregoriou, and Agiou Pavlou. I have numerous fond memories of my visit there, but I keep returning to one near the end of our trip.

The last monastery we visited was Agiou Pavlou, or St. Paul’s, on the southern end of the peninsula, at the base of Mt. Athos itself. Though it sits back only a mile or so from the Aegean Sea, the snow-capped peaks of the mountains rise 6,700 feet behind it.

On the second day of our visit, we decided to hike down to the Skete of St. Anne, a smaller monastic community right on the water. We spent the day with two monks, one who made church candles to support himself and another, Father Nikon, who was a world-reknown iconographer.

Father Nikon, who spoke very broken English, told us that his name was pronounced just like the famous camera company, “My name is Father Nikon,” he chuckled, “just like the camera company: ‘the first name in photography’.”

He then asked us to sit and, as is the custom everywhere on Mt. Athos, he offered us some tea and pastries. We then had a wonderful, rambling conversation about the spiritual life. He exuded wisdom and grace. His personified love, joy, and peace.

Near the end of our visit, I walked out with him on the veranda of his house. It directly overlooked the Aegean Sea, which that afternoon was smooth as glass. It was absolutely gorgeous. After several minutes of drinking in the view and knowing my trip was coming to an end, I said, “I hate to leave, Father. It is so peaceful here.”

Fr. Nikon nodded, but did not respond. Finally, after a few minutes, he said, “You know, Michael, anywhere can be this peaceful, if”—and he paused for emphasis—“you have God in your heart. But if you don’t, then even a place as beautiful as this can be hell.”

It was a sober reminder that the experience of peace does not depend on our circumstances. It is possible to experience it, even in the midst of a noisy and dangerous world. The experience of peace is not waiting for us in an idyllic setting half a world away. For Christians, peace is not a place but a Person.

As leaders it is critical, that we possess peace. In turbulent times, those we lead look to us to assess how they should respond to the vicissitudes of life. A calm and peaceful spirit communicates that we believe everything will be okay. God is in charge and will see us through.

Question: What has been your experience with leaders manifesting peace in the midst of extraordinary pressure? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • http://www.godsabsolutelove.com Patricia Zell

    I think the one thing that has helped me to find peace over the years is the growing understanding that God does love each and every one of us and that His love is absolute–perfect, complete, and real. As I walk through this world, I keep this truth as the basis for the choices I make. And, I believe God’s absolute love will manifest throughout our world and we will fully experience Isaiah 25:6-8. I believe we will find great joy and great peace.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I agree. This is the absolute foundation. Nothing will or can happen to us unless it is first filter through the hands of a God who loves us and has our ultimate best interests at heart (Romans 8:28–29).

    • Karl Mealor

      I also liked vs. 9 in the same passage. Thanks for sharing these this morning.

      • http://www.bigb94.webs.com Brandon

        Totally! This was a great post!

  • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

    I have personally not experienced any leader manifesting peace in the midst of extraordinary pressure. In my opinion, leader manifesting peace in the midst of extraordinary pressure is a rare genre today. But, as believers we do have a special privilege. We can always look to Him and find our comfort. Even though there are storms surrounding us, we should learn to remain silent and peaceful for He is in control of everything.

    I think Psalm 91 is a beautiful song reiterating this truth to all of us. As promised in Psalm 29:11, “The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace.” So, let us claim this promise without doubt and disbelief.

    Moreover, your post reminds me that I can be a leader manifesting peace in the midst of extraordinary pressure to my subordinates and followers. Thanks Mike for your eye opening article.

    • http://modernservantleader.com/ Benjamin Lichtenwalner

      Uma, as I read your comment it also helped me realize we have an accountability to every leader that is not manifesting peace in chaos. Are we not called to respond the the same situation with a measure of peace that could positively impact others – including the given leader, in a situation? Thank you for sharing Uma!

      • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

        Thanks Ben! I agree with you. We always need to be a light to this world. It’s true that we are blessesd to be a blessing to others (including the given leader too!)

  • http://www.confessionsofalegalist.com Jeremy@confessionsofalegalist

    To know and live in God’s perfect love for us brings peace. That whatever else may happen, He loves us.

  • Omar Hamada

    Michael, I agree. Remembering that God is in absolute control is essential. Knowing that Jesus is who He said He is, is vital. What it boils down to is perspective. Knowing who’s we are and why we’re here.

    In life we sometimes get upended by what happens to us. A phrase spoken by Prince Caspian in “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” helps me keep things in perspective. He said (paraphrased), “Instead of focusing on those things that have been taken from you, focus on those things that have been given to you.” Makes all the world of difference.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      That is a great quote. I want to look this up and get it exactly, so I can include it in my quotes folder in Evernote.

      • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

        Could you share it when you find it? Thanks!

      • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

        Could you share it when you find it? Thanks!

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          I did a quick search of Google Books and couldn’t find it. I tried several phrases. Hopefully, someone else can jump in here with the source.

          • http://refreshmentrefuge.blogspot.com/ Gina Burgess

            I tried to find it, too, but to no avail. (If you are referring to the Prince Caspian quote.) I searched numerous phrases as well as searching C.S. Lewis quotes. I would be interested to know that quote because I heard (or read) one very similar in the past few days but cannot remember where or who.

          • Omar Hamada

            We might need to watch the movie again!

            I think he said it in the first person (“I have too often thought about what has been taken from me rather than focused on those things given to me” or something like that). I sort of paraphrased it for more effective use.

          • Anonymous

            It’s a line from the movie. It’s near the end of the movie. I couldn’t find it in the book. The quote is: “I spent too long wanting what was taken from me, and not what was given.”

          • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

            I checked the script, too, and still couldn’t find it. If you happen to have a link, that would be helpful. Thanks.

    • http://www.bigb94.webs.com Brandon

      Yeah…great quote!

  • Sjohnston

    In 1988 I was on a mission trip in the former USSR. Lots of things went wrong on that trip, one being that we arrived at a train station in Czechoslovakia at 11pm having missed our train b/c the train we were on was running 4 hours late. I watched as our leader with Teen Missions negotiated passage for 30+ teens and college age kids on the next train that came into the station after having our team pray for God’s provision. We ended up riding in an empty box car for part of our trip.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      That’s a great example. It is particularly important for leaders to remain calm in unfamiliar terrain.

      Last week, I was flying home from the Gulf coast. As we approached Nashville, the weather began to turn bad. The small jet I was in was bouncing all over the sky. I said to my team, “You know, at Disney World you would pay extra for this kind of ride.” That helped calm everyone down (including me!)

      • http://geoffreywebb.wordpress.com/ Geoff Webb

        I was sleeping through some heavy turbulence on a small jet one time when I noticed the people around me were growing quite anxious. They thought the plane was going to rip apart. I told them I was a pilot and explained to them what caused turbulence and how safe we actually were, which eased their nerves a little. However, I think what helped the most was when I went back to sleep!

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          That reminds me of Jesus falling asleep in the boat while the storm raged on the sea.

        • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

          I knew that sleeping while traveling was a good thing – now I have the reason to explain it ;-)

          • http://www.bigb94.webs.com Brandon

            Haha!

  • http://twitter.com/kevinowens4 Kevin Owens

    This is a great reminder for all of us and it is certainly important for leaders to have and exude peace. A favorite personal reminder that I turn too frequently is Jeremiah 29:11. Even when I cannot clearly see the plan, God knows it well. Thanks for continuing to share such poignant information on your blog. It is a daily must-read for me.

  • steve reid

    In difficult, turbulent times people in organizations will always first look for a leader’s direction. If they find one who is trustworthy to them they will follow, regardless of how difficult of a road it might be. If they don’t, then the organizational alignment goes askew.

    It is in the dark times when ‘light’ shines its brightest! For those who lead…are you the bright light that your people are following?

    Its both your responsibility and an opportunity to ‘reflect’ the One who leads you!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Amen to that. Great point!

  • Lisa

    I have done a horrible job of remembering that god is in control the last few weeks. Thank you for this reminder that I really need heading into a very high anxiety week. See I am currently in the middle of all this turmoil as I am an educational leader in Wisconsin. The anxiety is extremely high as jobs and funding are on the line, trying to figure out how I will make things work losing so much and I have not done a great job of keeping peace as a leader.

    Going to keep this post in front of me all week to remind myself to stay positive and rely on him this week.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Good for you, Lisa. May God grant you His peace.

  • David Wardrop1

    On December 22, 2003, my father was given 30 days to live. He died January 22, 2004. I wrote a journal the last 30 days of his life. He died of cancer, and did not realize he was in the final stage of cancer. My father’s trust in God and worship to the “one who will take care of everything” brought peace to him and to everyone who was with him. He knew God was in control. My fathers faith did not begin the last 30 days of his life…but was cultivated through his relationship with Jesus. His favorite scripture was Isaiah 26:3 “you will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” Peace is a state of being, regardless of the circumstances that surround you.

    I am in the final stages of writing a book on the life and death of my parents. My father was given 30 days to live, and my mother died 10 days before his death. Talk about peace. I learned from observing my father….. what peace looks like, the kind of peace that passes all understanding. I trust you are encouraged by these words. I so much appreciate your blog.

    With appreciation and respect,

    Lisa Wardrop

  • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

    When I read this I had a hard time coming up with a modern leader that exhibits a calm and peaceful spirit. It seems like the volume has been turned up all over the world. In thinking back I do remember a speech, through a tragic time, that really spoke to me. It was Ronald Reagan on the day of the Challenger disaster that helped to calm the fears of children and adults alike. These words really helped thorough a day of anguish…

    “And I want to say something to the schoolchildren of America who were watching the live coverage of the shuttle’s take-off. I know it’s hard to understand, but sometimes painful things like this happen. It’s all part of the process of exploration and discovery. It’s all part of taking a chance and expanding man’s horizons. The future doesn’t belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave. The Challenger crew was pulling us into the future, and we’ll continue to follow them.”

    Then he finished it off with truly memorable words…

    The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and slipped the surly bonds of earth to touch the face of God.”

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Man, that made me tear up. What a powerful example.

      Another one I thought of was from the movie, “We Were Soldiers.” Lt. Col. Hal Moore (played by Mel Gibson) stood in the middle of a combat zone with bullets flying all around him. He didn’t flinch. He was calm and in control. It gave his men courage.

      • http://modernservantleader.com/ Benjamin Lichtenwalner

        I remember that scene well. I believe he was also fond of saying that he’d be the first man on the field and the last one off – which he was. Another strong example of courage under (literal) fire.

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          I actually wrote about Hal Moore here. I loved his example.

    • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

      That’s is truly a powerful quote. The tone of this President in this response re-directed the potential outcome of this tragedy.

      We are not guaranteed safety, comfort or a reprieve from epic failure. In fact, it is often these things that compel us towards something better. Our failures and disappointments can be the things that ‘pull us into the future’ – not forgetting our experiences; but, growing and learning from them. By trusting that God is real and that He is in control, these hard things in life can still be peaceful, life-giving, and even joyful.

  • Katherineconnon

    Many of us have created a very psychotic God, blamed for the perceived “bad” in the world and praised for the perceived “good”. God is often challenged following so called “natural” catastrophes, such as a tsunami or earthquake. We as men and woman are responsible for much of the turmoil in our troubled world and we all must take personal responsibility. Like a pebble thrown into a still pond, each of us can make a difference as our actions radiate out. Each of us can be a leader.
    Our infinitely loving God must sigh sometimes when he/she sees us frequently making such a mess of things. X

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FJRLITL5IEFHDDFURAESLXOOZ4 Jim Whitaker

    I really understand this concept. It is once that I have wrestled with for many years until I have the spiritual discipline to help in in this area. In the morning, I spend 30 minutes of quite time with God. I don’t talk. I just listen. I don’t have music or the TV on. The family is asleep, there are no interruptions. I keep a pad of paper and pencil by my in case I get caught up in something that needs to be brain dumped (GTD) so I can completely focus on letting God talk to me if God is so inclined to do so. I have found that just this short amount of centering time has allowed me to fin peace in the day and calmness when I need it most.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I’m with you on that Jim. I have to get focused on God first thing, or the cares of the world choke out the good seed. When the garden of my heart becomes overgrown with weeds, I am no good to anyone.

    • http://www.bigb94.webs.com Brandon

      I wrote a post about this today on my site… I included a quote by Diana Robinson that says, “Prayer is when you talk to God. Meditation is when you listen to God”. It’s one thing to talk to God, but sometimes we need to take the time to listen.

  • Jo Ann

    Beautiful and encouraging post! Thank you!

  • http://geoffreywebb.wordpress.com/ Geoff Webb

    I have a unique problem with this. by God’s grace, I’ve been blessed with a spiritual disposition that defaults to peace. Often the thing I worry about the most is that I don’t worry enough. Most of the time this really helps those I’m leading—but sometimes it doesn’t.

    Sometimes when I respond all cool and collected with an “everything’s going to be okay” attitude, my family/coworkers/colleagues don’t think I’m taking their fears and concerns seriously. It’s an empathy issue. I have to take the time to meet them where they are, experience their fear with them, then find the way back together to peace and perspective.

    • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

      I have experienced this too. Especially with my family, I have to remember to communicate in a way that tells them that I see and understand the emotion of the current situation. It is important to let them know that I am connected and deeply interested – even though I may not be as ‘worried’ as those around me.

  • Gaylene

    I have to Amen! My father, a pastor, was one who showed great peace in the midst of turmoil, always. He was quick to share where he peace came from- what a wonderful example for me and others.

  • http://modernservantleader.com/ Benjamin Lichtenwalner

    Simply put, the best leaders, I find, are those with a strong Faith. Faithful leaders possess a far greater peace than those without. That has been, and remains, my experience.

    Thank you for sharing Michael. In the beginning, this post took me to my own memories of greatest peace – in the wilderness of Maine. I loved how the end thrust me back to my office, where I now sit, realizing that same peace from Maine can be mine even here, amidst the chaos of modern business.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Well said, Ben. For me, just recalling this experience brings peace.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Well said, Ben. For me, just recalling this experience brings peace.

  • http://www.indiebusinessblog.com Donna Maria Coles Johnson

    Great post. Indeed, it takes effort to go inside ourselves to experience the kind of peace that passes understanding. It reminds me of 4 days I spent in 2009 at the Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in Clyde, Missouri, population 79. I was there to lead social media workshops for the Sisters, but the best part for me was the peace and stillness we experienced together. Church bells ringing in the middle of nowhere, a peaceful lake, the sounds of the Sisters singing at vespers. It was glorious alone time for me, and one of the highlights of the year. Thanks for this reminder.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      My wife just returned from a monastic retreat in the desert of Arizona. She had a similar experience. It really brough my experience back in a fresh way.

  • http://familysynergy.wordpress.com JD Eddins

    My boss talks about having poise. It’s that quiet confidence in the middle of panic that helps you make it through those difficult times. Having seen him display that poise when others experience panic has given us the ability to press on, to keep doing the work, and trust that things will work out.

  • Carla

    The past few days have been a sort of spiritual retreat for me as I have been talking to God and, hopefully, listening more to His loving reply. My focus has been on finding again that peace in my relationship with Him that is more powerful than the swirling circumstances around me. Today I reposed Psalm 61:1-4 then I read your blog. Thank you for the re inforcement and the reminder that real deep lasting peace is found only in a relationship with the Person, Jesus. blessings

  • http://joshuamhood.com Josh Hood

    A painting contest was once held and the artists were given the assignment of creating a work that defined peace. Many beautiful submissions captured golden sunsets or serene landscapes. But the entry that won was a picture of a coastline during a terrible storm. Dark, ominous clouds and tall, angry waves filled the frame. But in the corner, a mother bird was nestled in a tiny crevice in the rocks, with her wings gently covering her young.

    He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. – Psalm 91:4

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      That’s a beautiful word picture. Thank you.

  • http://twitter.com/ThatGuyKC K.C. Pro

    An amazing post on the power of God to provide peace. I cannot fathom life without Him.

  • http://www.thepoint-leah.blogspot.com Leah Adams

    As I studied the book of Daniel a few years ago, I came across verses that reminded me that nothing, absolutely nothing, happens that takes God by surprise. He sets up kings (and presidents, and leaders of all stripes) and deposes them. All through the BibleI am reminded that I am His Covenant child and He always keeps His covenants, therefore, I am secure and safe with Him. He will allow nothing in my life that is not for my good and His glory. I can have peace knowing that whatever happens, first got the ‘go ahead’ from God.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Amen to that!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Amen to that!

  • http://fishblogwash.blogspot.com Sean Fishstix3214

    Keeping your faith warm is the best thing anyone can do. So many have let their faith grow cold and the consequences are evident on the news every night. My mom says we are in the end times. She also says that Matlock should have won an Oscar last night if that tells ya anything.

  • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

    I just checked out a monestary nearby last week to see if it was suitable for me to use as a personal retreat day occasionally. When I arrived, the monks were chanting their prayers in the chapel. I just stood in the entryway and let the peace of the place wash over me.

    I’m looking forward to utilizing the facility in a few weeks…

  • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

    I just checked out a monestary nearby last week to see if it was suitable for me to use as a personal retreat day occasionally. When I arrived, the monks were chanting their prayers in the chapel. I just stood in the entryway and let the peace of the place wash over me.

    I’m looking forward to utilizing the facility in a few weeks…

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Awesome. Let us know how it goes.

  • TNeal

    I know that I maintained a sense of balance and peace during some difficult times as a pastor when I centered on God’s call. The knowledge that God knew me, gifted me, called me, and knew my circumstances guided me through some rough waters.

    The interesting thing was I had greater peace in times of trouble than I did in tranquil moments because the troubles forced me to refocus my heart on the Lord. Difficulties drove me into a deeper prayer life.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, unfortunately, this is where most of the growing usually takes place.

  • Anonymous

    I’m young – 35 years old. I’ve seen very few leaders worth following. I’ve probably read of more leaders worth following than I’ve shaken hands with. But with that said, the leaders that I’ve met and read about always have specific, distinct characteristics: Peace – or a steady calm (as you mentioned), Faith in God, Integrity, and Compassion. It’s rare to find one with these qualities, but when you do – they’re usually worth following.

  • http://twitter.com/speckleofdirt Tammy Cannon

    Wow! So convicting. I often think I’ll find peace “somewhere” or “somewhen” and it’s not the case. Jesus is the Prince of Peace…how quickly I forget.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I easily forget, too. I write to remind myself first!

  • TNeal

    In thinking more about your question, I think Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers modeled peace in turbulent times. Ever since the Packers moved on without Brett Favre, Rodgers has faced intense scrutiny and a lot of fan furor.

    Yet he responded with gracious words every single time I saw him interviewed. Although I’m not a Packer fan, I respect what Rodgers accomplished this past NFL season and the manner in which he handled himself throughout the last three years.

  • Anonymous

    All I know, in the midst of the storm you cannot suddenly get peace. When things are going well, maintaining and strengthening our relationship with Christ needs to be the focal of our lives. Then when the storm comes, we can sleep in the boat like Jesus and then command peace into the situation.

    Even if a leader is not a Christian, during good times, building leadership skills & good habits is important. Because during stressful times, your character is tested. I’m always shocked when polished leaders lose it when they are under stress. That’s never good.

    I remember during the most trying period of my life, where EVERYTHING fell apart. I got on my knees and asked the Lord to not just fix it but to put me on the path HE wanted me on. Things didn’t immediately changed, but I remember the peace that followed after that prayer. In fact, things got worse (I got evicted, I was unemployed for months & disinherited by my family). Yet, it’s been an adventure ever since. And my life is nothing like I imagine it would be & 100 times better. When you go through something like that and see God’s hand in all of it, you know that you know God is in control. It’s no longer head knowledge. It’s a good place to be in. I wouldn’t trade my relationship with Christ for anything.

    For 7 years prior to this period, I tithed 10% of my time to the Lord (I studied and prayed two & a half hours every day). I was a Ph.D candidate so it was easy to rigorously study the word with my classwork. I took a lot of criticism for this, because I wasn’t a ‘minister’ or ‘pastor’. But I weather storms much better because of the strong foundation. It was worth the effort and time.

    • http://www.bigb94.webs.com Brandon

      Definitely! It’s all about spreading Jesus’s fame!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Great example. I really used my college years for this. I didn’t stay out late and party. I got up early and spent time in the Scriptures and in prayer. I also memorized a ton of Bible verses. It has really served me well.

  • http://www.christopherscottblog.typepad.com/ Christopher Scott

    My experience with the leaders I’ve worked for is very little peace. They seem to have all been high strung, a little crazy, and not very calm. Mix some emotional decisions in there too. . . .

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      The scarcity makes it all the more valuable. If you have peace, you can really stand out and be an encouragement to others.

  • http://modernservantleader.com/ Benjamin Lichtenwalner

    Reading other comments, I was reminded of a passage from sermon this past Sunday:

    “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?” -Matthew 6:25-27 (NASB)

  • http://www.gracefulword.com Jim H

    Thanks for the reminder that our peace lies not in a place, but a Person. Still, I’ve wanted to visit the place you described for a long time. I’d hoped to go this year, but I’m too busy trying to launch a book. Perhaps if it gets off the ground, 2012 will be the year. Thanks again.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I hope you get to go. It is worth the effort. I hope to go back one day. So many monasteries, so little time. ;-)

  • http://twitter.com/ReekersResearch Reekers Research

    That was a great message. Thank you for sharing your experience.

  • http://www.janieseltzer.com Janie Seltzer

    Mike, thank you for this post. I completely enjoyed learning about the Island of Athos-but sad to see that women are restricted! I took a visual tour via the internet. What an amazing privilege to go there . . . and wonderful the wisdom of Father Nikon. Spot on! Janie

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      You might want to visit the women’s monastery my wife was at last week in Safford, AZ. It’s called St. Paisius’ Orthodox Monastery. Even though it is Serbian in ethnicity, all the services are in English. My wife was blown away by the peace and joy she experienced there with the sisters.

  • Heatherscott07

    Wonderful reminder of the where Peace comes from at Peace is. Many people have mentioned monastic visits. Are there a few you would suggest?

    • Heatherscott07

      ok, so I can’t type today. I meant to say… your blog is a wonderful reminder of WHERE Peace comes from and What Peace is. Can you tell that I’m may have been lacking a little peace this morning? :-)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      In the U.S. for women, I would recommend St. Paisius Serbian Orthodox Monastery in Safford, AZ. My wife was there all last week and loved it.

  • Stephanie

    Having been raised in the Greek Orthodox church, I loved this post and the picture! I believe the only way to demonstrate true peace in the midst of these challenging times is through the power of the Holy Spirit.

    One year, while leading a women’s basketball exhibition team, our bus engine blew up just three hours after departure to our first of 13 games on the road. Normally, I would have been agitated, frustrated and out of sorts. But that morning I had prayed that no matter what happened on the three-week tour, God would give me the grace to handle it in a way that pleased him. My calm response was of God, not me! And it kept everyone else calm too.

    Thanks for the great reminder.

  • Anonymous

    You have an amazing ability to grasp and communicate leadership principles. The practical items are ones I send immediately to Evernote. However, this post made me stop in my tracks and remember I am in the presence of a very living and powerful God and He desires for me to know His peace. I needed His peace today. Thank you for allowing God to use you to speak to us.

  • http://bigcchurch.blogspot.com/ bdillenback

    Timing is everything, I have observed that good leaders know when is a good time do act and when is a good time to do nothing. Having this peace allows them to feel out a situation. Its like Jeopardy the guy who buzzes in to soon before the question is completed and the guy who waits to long to buzz in after the question. Its the guy who finds the peace to wait and act when its right who gets the best opportunity to succeed.

  • http://twitter.com/manyhatsmommyMI Jenny Herman

    What a beautiful quote! As I think about various leaders I know, I come back to Joan and Andy Horner, the founders of Premier Designs jewelry. They created a counter-cultural, successful company. How? By using biblical principles and sticking to them, even when everything else said not to. They have been amazing examples.

  • http://dustn.me Dustin W. Stout

    Great post Michael. I wrote a similar post on God’s peace, which surpasses all understanding. It isn’t beyond understanding if things are going good; it’s only in the midst of CHAOS that the “peace beyond understanding” truly takes effect. My post can be found here – http://dustn.ws/gIXDTz – but yours is definitely better. ;)

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    “In this life there is victory, no peace.”

    Not in the long run, anyway. Ther’s no lasting city on a hill here in this world.

    But “if we put our hope in this world we are the most to be pitied.”

    (or something like that)

  • Carl

    Okay but, newscast after newscast reminds the hearers of the advance of radical Islam. How are we to remain “calm” in the face of this mortal/existential threat to the world, not to mention the cause of Christ?

    Please don’t reply with platitudes like “God is in control.” Ask our Christian brothers and sisters in Muslim lands what is going on!

    • http://peterpollock.com Peter P

      I think the point that Michael is trying to make here is not we should look on the world with rose-tinted glasses and just brush everything off as inconsequential here and now.

      Rather, Michael is reminding us that the peace of God in our hearts can help us to retain the joy of the Lord and his peace even through the toughest of trials and tribulations.

      Paul and Silas, in prison, didn’t fall apart but rather they retained their peace and calm because they had God in their hearts.

      The same can be true for us IF we have God in our hearts.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      So what’s the alternative? God is not in control? He is somehow surprised? What could have been worse than the Roman empire committed to stamping out Christianity in the first three centuries of the church. The more the Romans persecuted the church, the more it flourished.

  • http://www.gospellab.com Gospel lab

    Phillipians 4:6-7

    6Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

    7And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

  • http://peterpollock.com Peter P

    Great post, Michael.

    I really love what you’re doing with your posts these days. Your increased emphasis in sharing and relating the principles your teach to your faith is awesome.

    I’m excited just to read your blog because of it!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Peter. I appreciate your encouragement very much!

  • http://alexspeaks.com Alex Humphrey

    Thank you Michael. I desperately needed this today

  • http://peterpollock.com Peter P

    We used to sing a song when I was a kid (and still do with our kids) which goes like this:

    With Christ in your vessel, you can smile at the storm,
    Smile at the storm, smile at the storm.
    With Christ in your vessel, you can smile at the storm,
    Smile at the storm, smile at the storm.
    As we go sailing home.

    Sailing, sailing home.
    Sailing, sailing home.

    With Christ in your vessel, you can smile at the storm,
    as we go sailing home!

  • Steve

    Michael,

    First, I so much appreciate your blog.

    In 1996, our 8 year old daughter passed away suddenly due to cardiac arrest. During this most hellish of times, I never felt closer to God and at peace and full of joy (but definitely not happiness).

    The reason is that I knew that I was totally out of control and solidly in the hands of God on this.

    As we drove home from the hospital that day Leah died, I told my wife two things. First, we would not let this come between us and damage our marriage. This year we will have been married for 31 years. Second, I told my wife that we never would have chosen this ministry, but God had given it to us for some reason so we would use it to his glory. Within 6 months, we were ministering to a grieving mother and father whose teen son had been killed in a car wreck.

    This event in our lives has opened up all types of ministry opportunities we otherwise never would have had.

    If you want peace, gaze into the eyes of your Father. Rest in Him. His yoke is easy and His load is light.

    Thanks and keep blogging,

    Steve Sanders

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thank you for sharing this beautiful story, Steve.

  • http://twitter.com/LivingNextLevel Colby Benjamin Brown

    As a young leader, it is so easy to become overwhelmed during “turbulent times.” This is a great reminder for me that peace does not depend on my circumstances.. Instead, with God in my heart I always have peace! This reminds me of being an overcomer. “…In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

  • Steve Barkley

    One leader who manifested peace in the mist of extraordinary pressure was President Bush in the days immediately following 9/11.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      He certainly did. It is interesting to read the account in his autobiography. He was very conscious that others were watching, and that he had a responsibility to lead by example.

  • http://ThestumblingDad.com Rusty Roberts

    As a husband and dad I lead my family with peace and calm through all the bad turbulent times in and outside our home. At times it’s very difficult, but so necessary. My wife and kids depend on me to provide that stability. You are right that we need and desire this quality in our leaders, and I think we do so on all levels of our lives.

  • Misty

    Excellent reminder! Thanks.

  • Mark King

    Hi–I’m a former Evangelical who is now Orthodox, and I so appreciate you sharing your experience and your wife’s in visiting these Orthodox monasteries. The monastics have been such a witness in the life of the church, and they have maintained true Christian spirituality throughout the ages–thank God for them!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      It really is astonishing. I have never witnessed deeper, more godly men than on Mt. Athos.

  • http://www.gigimuses.com Gigi

    My experience of being lead by peace happened paradoxically as someone I was leading lent me peace. A Honduran woman who worked at a kitchen where I lived and worked offered me one of the most peaceful responses I have ever known. As we strategized about an outbreak of Typhoid Fever, I plopped my papers and charts down on the table. She asked if she could pray. Peace poured over us. She lead me. Someone I was leading lead me.

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  • Anonymous

    As a leader many people are watching you. They watch how you react to every situation. I am learning this more and more every day. As I am struggling through a health crisis I realize that people will see how I react to that. I admit there have been days in this unfortunate circumstance where the fruit of patience hasn’t exactly shined. But, in realizing that, I was able to apologize, keep myself in prayer, and get back on track. Others saw I wasn’t perfect and were okay with that. Recently, as the health struggles continue, God’s peace is still there. For every deep breath I take instead of one in panic, I know He is there. And through that, I know others are seeing Him as well.

  • http://www.instani.com Web Designer

    Good Post Thanks for sharing..

  • http://www.susiefinkbeiner.wordpress.com Susie Finkbeiner

    In October, 2001 I went to New York City for a mission trip. Nothing, absolutely nothing, went as planned. It was frustrating, exhausting and an intensely emotional time. But our pastor at the time was calm and cool. He encouraged, joked (appropriately) and prayed. I think what made him capable of this peace was the 40 day fast he was participating in. He was somewhere toward the end of that fast. His peace came from his focus on the Holy Spirit. It was inspiring!

  • http://mymellowpages.blogspot.com/ Sonya K. Cox

    I have had to go thru some less than peaceful times to learn what peace is and to learn to be content in any situation.  I think God allows some turmoil so that we will learn to trust and seek Him and to learn that HE is in control.  I feel that in our world today, it is going to be harder and harder to find peace.  The heat is turned on HIGH and not only are we going to need to find our own peace in the turmoil but to be able to help others find their peace also.  Of course, my answer to peace is that God provides it.  He provides rest to the weary and he tells us not to be anxious.  He tells us he will place our steps so that we do not fall.  What more can bring peace than that.  So much that we care about can be at stake at times.  When the panic starts to set in, I say a prayer to be settled and not allow this fear to control me, because I know my God is greater than whatever troubles are before me.  It’s a challenge, but it can be done!

  • http://twitter.com/JohnPaulDeWalt John-Paul DeWalt

    Our previous pastor felt called of God to leave our church and go elsewhere.  As we digested the news, our elders’ first statement was “God is still God.  He is still in control.”  Though we wept over that pastor’s leaving, we were able to welcome the next man God chose for us.  Things will change but God is still in control.

  • Joel

    Leaders with God’s Peace are healthy in their scope

  • Pingback: The Practice of Stillness | Michael Hyatt

  • http://juliesunne.com/ Julie Sunne

    Beautifully written post, Michael. Now Mt. Athos is on my “to-see” places. We only need to look around to see the reality of Father Nikon’s quote. We live in the most blessed nation in the world, yet where is the peace? It’s not found in the treasures of this world, but, yes, through God’s love by faith in Jesus Christ. I’m going to hold onto Fr. Nikon’s quote as a reminder for when I begin complaining–again. :)

  • Danielle Street

    I agree. As leaders, it’s critical that we possess peace. May we all remember to pray to the One who made us and depend on Him for eternal peace! “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

  • http://www.AmyThedinga.com/ Amy Thedinga

    Michael, this is beautiful and so, so timely. The pendulum has swung toward “authenticity” and “vulnerability” in leadership – especially among the younger generations. So called pilgrim leaders if you will. And while I believe these things are vital, it is equally important to have a leader who knows God so well that they are genuinely assured that all will be well and can offer that assurance to others. It is not helpful when the leaders join in the freak out. Someone has to rise above the noise and point the way to God’s goodness. Thanks for this today!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      You are welcome, Amy. Thanks for leaving a comment.

  • http://www.wallacejnichols.org Wallace J. Nichols

    #BlueMind indeed! (like the photo ; )

  • http://www.aborderlife.com/ Shannon H. Polson

    Something I will never forget is watching Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama at a Seattle event. Both have lived through trauma on the grandest scale, and what came across most effusively was their joy- and not just joy, but almost giddyness. They were like school boys. And it’s occurred to me when I consider my own faith that I should also be looking for that joy (with which Lewis noted he was surprised.), that joy is what comes from peace which is what comes from having God in our hearts. Thank you for this reminder.

  • James

    Thank you for reminding us that peace is a person and that person is Jesus.

  • Anne Slingo

    I try not to worry about anything, and pray about everything (Phillipians 4:6)

  • http://KellyLevatino.com/ Kelly Levatino

    I like your statement that peace is not a place but a Person. I wrote about “inner peace” for Christians based on Jn 14:27, “My peace I give you…” We don’t need to SEEK peace; we HAVE peace in Jesus. The Holy Spirit will help us tap into it if we want to (Jn 14:26). So cool. http://kellylevatino.com/2013/07/24/inner-peace/

  • http://www.risingabove.com John O’Leary

    Michael, I loved this piece. My personal mission statement in life and work is “because God demands it, my family deserves it and the world is starved for it.” This is how I keep my peace – remembering the higher purpose makes the small stresses in a day less weighty. Great timing too – actually – my Monday Morning Motivation blog for 5/12 is about turning Fear & Anxiety of “What If” to Joy for “What Is” – you can sign up to get it at http://www.risingabove.com/monday-morning. Would love to hear your thoughts. J