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Nasruddin’s Search to Find Peace

Nasruddin’s wife expressed to her husband her concern that she was not respected in the community. She came home and told her husband that she would not be respected until he had become a merchant. Therefore, he had better become one, or she would divorce him. After thinking all night, he sold his donkey, his only possession, and with the money opened a shop. However, he had no merchandise because he had spent all his money on rent, so each day he sat in front of an empty shop, but his wife was thrilled.


One Friday after prayers, the king rode by, saw the empty shop, and asked Nasruddin what he sold. He said, “Wisdom, Your Majesty, and it will cost you this small pitcher filled with gold coins to purchase some.” The king filled the small pot with coins and Nasruddin said to him, “Do nothing without considering its end.”


The king said, “That was rather expensive, don’t you think for that small saying?”


Nasruddin said, “No, it is really quite cheap.”


The king liked the phrase and had it written, framed, and placed on the walls in various rooms of the palace. Unknown to the king, several people devised a plot to kill him. They asked his private barber to do the job while shaving him. He agreed, in exchange for becoming a minister in the new government.


When the day came, as he began shaving the king, he was about to cut his throat, when the king looked across the room and read aloud the words of wisdom: “Do nothing without considering its end.” The barber thought that the king knew about the plot and confessed what he was about to do.


After the King punished the conspirators, he called Nasruddin into his presence. The king said, “You were right, the wisdom you gave me was indeed inexpensive; in fact, today it saved my life. I have decided, therefore, to reward you by making you the minister of wisdom.”


Nasruddin’s wife tried to find peace in her life. She thought that if she had respect from people that would bring her peace. In her attempt to find it, she robbed Nasruddin of any peace he might have had.


Some people look to other people for peace and security or hope to intimidate others into supplying peace for them. Nasruddin was threatened with divorce if he could not solve his wife’s problem. He ended up selling his animal to bring his wife peace. Nasruddin had to do without his animal and lost his peace as he endured the jeers of his fellow merchants each day as he sat in front of an empty shop. Nasruddin hoped to get his peace back by charging the king for his purchase of wisdom. This is an old belief that enough money can buy peace of the heart.


The king figured he had enough money to ensure peace in his kingdom and in his own life. Since he was not fighting anyone, he must be experiencing peace himself. He did not know that the peace of his own person was under threat, until he quoted the wisdom that he had learned from the mulla. It was only this “word of wisdom” that saved his life.


Although all three of these people looked for peace in their lives in diverse ways, none of them found enduring peace. They tried, but like most people, peace continued to ebb and flow in their lives and was limited and sporadic. People can only be manipulated so long, money will only last so long, and someone will eventually have more power or people of influence in their lives than we do.


What is the real answer to finding peace that will endure?


The key to finding peace is not where most people are looking for it. The key, in fact, rests in the words of wisdom Nasruddin spoke. To find lasting peace, we must “consider the end” as Nasruddin suggests. What do we want at the end of our lives? Do we want influence over people, wealth, or authority? Or do we want a relationship that will last for eternity?


Hear the words of Jesus as He speaks about real peace. Notice that real peace comes through a relationship with Jesus.


“Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” (John 17:3)


In another place Jesus says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27)


Finally in John 6:33, He says, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”


We can look for peace of mind and heart in many places, but Jesus promises peace if we are in relationship with Him. Knowing Jesus alone brings peace.

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