Peace on Earth seems an elusive dream. To have peace, everybody must want peace and work towards peace. If there are 100 people and 99 want peace, but 1 person or group does not want peace, there will not be peace!
Matt 5:9 says: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”
Peace. That elusive state that we just cannot achieve in the world, is what I thought about during my 6km exercise walk.
As I walked, a bit breathless, I hummed Dona Nobis Pacem – Give us Peace
Did you thing I will sing for you?
PEACE IS NOT GIVEN
Why can we not have peace? Perhaps because we think peace should be GIVEN to us? Peace is like the rich man who said grace over dinner and closed: “Be with those less fortunate than us. Amen.” His son replied: “If I were you, I would make my own prayer come true and just give to those less fortunate and not wait on God to do it!”
That is a problem – that we think peace must be given to us! It puts us outside the circle of responsibility – peace is not our responsibility. It is above our paygrade. We storm ahead. Oblivious. Our words and deeds cause havoc, but it is not our responsibility.
WHAT OTHERS SAY
“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”
– John F. Kennedy
“Peace begins with a smile.”
– Mother Teresa
“Eye for an eye only makes the whole world blind.”
– Mahatma Gandhi
Read more at https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/peace-quotes
Indeed, if we do not take responsibility for peace in our little corner of influence, we may be devoured by violence! As JFK says in the quote above.
Mother Theresa says it plain and simple – peace (and often friendship) begins with a smile. A smile can put a totally different perspective on many situations. Perhaps it is going too far to say a smile is a sign of empathy, but it surely is a sign of friendliness. A sign of openness. A smile sends a welcoming message. I, for one, should smile a lot more!
The problem is, we must be right – at all costs. We must win – at all costs. We must feel important – at all costs. We want to be powerful. Sometimes, I think, we confuse respect with fear. If we can induce fear, we think people respect us. Perhaps I am wrong in this thought.
Gandhi is so right! An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. Romans 12:17 always fascinated me. “Do not repay evil with evil.” The Afrikaans says so much. In a sense the Afrikaans says we use evil as a medium of exchange – like money. We “repay” evil with evil. Evil becomes a currency. In that way evil multiplies. Just like $1 in the economy. Or like an infectious virus!
Romans 12 actually suggests an alternative to using “evil as money.” DO the right thing. Now that is a challenge.
Mostly, I find the Bible practical, because Romans 12 also ads, as far as it depends on YOU, live in peace with everybody. I must admit, some people make it really difficult. Sometimes, I am that people! 😳 😕 😳
The truth, and we cannot escape it, is that peace is our responsibility. Yours and mine.
If you and I want peace, you and I must make it!
That also comes at a price. The price is ego, arrogance, stepping away from superiority, getting down to somebody else’s level to understand his point of view. That is another problem! We think we are coming “down!” Perhaps the problem is that we cannot get up to the other person’s level and he or she has to kneel to get to our level! Just a thought.
Which reminds me of the Lawyer and the Reverent. A true story. The Lawyer wanted a bridge over a smallish river that cut the town off whenever there was rain. One day the two stood on opposite sides of the flooding river. The Lawyer said: “This is why we must have a bridge.” The Reverent replied: “I will pray that God gives you the right insight.” To which the Lawyer answered: “Reverent, why do you not rather pray that God guides us in the right way?” To the credit of the Reverent, he came back and supported the bridge and I often used it!
I think it is worth it having peace. If not for me, then surely to leave a better world for our children and grandchildren.
What do you think? Why can we not peace? What can we do to get peace?