Pursuing Peace

These don’t seem like very peaceful times, nationally or globally.  All we have to do is to turn on the news and we are reminded of this fact, if indeed we had been able to forget it for a moment.  Of course, throughout history people have been convinced that they were living in the most turbulent of times.  And they would have been right.  Peace has always eluded mankind, ever since our fall from grace chosen by Eve and Adam in the garden so long ago. At that point, when they chose disobedience to their Creator, they were no longer at peace with themselves, with each other or with God.  Everything had changed in that instant.  Sin had entered God’s perfect world, and peace was no longer a part of it.  Peace was no longer the norm.

Peace eludes us on an individual level, we don’t experience peace personally. We are often at war with ourselves, we are our own worst enemy. (if I can’t get along with myself, no wonder I have trouble getting along with others.) Then peace eludes us in our personal relationships.Peace escapes us in our families, in our neighborhoods, in our churches, in our schools.  We don’t experience peace in our communities, in our states, in our nation or in our relationships with other nations. Because we don’t seek peace and pursue it on an individual level, we don’t experience peace on any level, from the personal to the global.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.”  (Matt. 5:9)   We are called to be peacemakers but how many of us seek peace and pursue it on a daily basis?  We are given some good advice in Romans 12:17-21, “Do not repay anyone evil for evil.  Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.  If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.  Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath,  …  do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

As far as it depends on me, live at peace?  Can anything I do really make a difference? That’s where it has to start, with me.  Not only with my actions but with my words.  In my earlier post, “Walking Wounded” I addressed the incredible power words have in our world.  We need to watch our words carefully.  With the election just days away, I pray for peace no matter the outcome.  We may not see our preferred candidates win but peace prevailing in every state, in our cities, in our streets would be a victory for each and every one of us.  To know that we can leave our homes for work, school, church etc. in safety and without fear of violence is the gift that peace bestows.

I long for peace in the world but it has to start on an individual level, it has to start with me. While the media may be focused on those things that divide us, I want to be reminded of those things that would unite us.  We all need to unite in pursuing peace instead of attacking those hired to protect us and keep the peace.  I am hopeful for a more peaceful world as the gospel of peace is translated into more languages and shared with more people around the world.  There will come a time when, “They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.  Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.”   (Is. 2:4)

The world has not known a time free from conflict,  but we can continue to pursue peace in our personal lives and in every sphere of influence that is ours.  We can and must make a difference.  A little kindness goes a long way toward this end.

sincerely,                         Grace Day

 

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