You hear at every beauty pageant across the world the question being posed: “What is the one most important thing our society needs?” And the answer invariably is: “World Peace.”
Personally, I like Sandra Bullock’s response in the movie Miss Congeniality, “harsher punishment for parole violators.” But I guess I’m practical like that.
Now, “world peace” is something that I believe all societies are, or should be, actively striving for. It is in the prayers of many people. I’m a bit ashamed to admit that I’ve never actually prayed for world peace. It’s not that I don’t want it, but it’s always been too much of a vague concept for me. What is “world peace”? What does it look like?
Thankfully Google always has an answer, and it is usually an answer that reflects society’s views. Google’s definition of world peace is:
“An ideal of freedom, peace, and happiness
among and within all nations and/or peoples”
That’s quite the ideal to live up to, if you ask me. That sounds a lot closer to Heaven than it does for a group of fallen human beings. After all, we are all hopelessly flawed. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying we should not actively try to make our world a better place, because I believe we can and we should. But to reduce our wish to “world peace” seems trite. Unfortunately, there will always be bad people in the world. What can we do to stop all the evil in the world? It seems like a big job, too big for any one person to attain. That’s why we should break it down a little. Instead of just one person staring at the problem of ridding the world of all violence, we should look at ourselves first. I mean, Bruce Willis or Batman probably could, but let’s face it, not all of us are that intimidating.
Because it is Christmas, and don’t even get me started on how much I adore the Christmas season, we have definitely heard a lot of Christmas songs. One that really hit me this season had a line that said, “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.” Clearly Christ wants us to pray and actively strive for peace, but we should have peace in and with ourselves before looking to the world-wide picture.
One thing that I love about my faith is that even when every single thing is going wrong, and trust me, it does about twice a week, I can still have peace. If you’re surrounded with five kids screaming at you because one is hungry, one is mad, the other is happy, and two just want to join in, you can still be peaceful. It goes back to the knowledge of who you are. You are a child of God, and that’s important. I don’t like cliches, but there’s no real way to get around saying that. Think about what that means. You’re not like a child of God, you are a child of God. It means we are smaller than Him and infinitely less wise. It means He knows better than us on how we should live, and we would all do better to listen to Him.
Since I’ve gotten my license years ago, I’ve gotten lost a fair amount of times. Most times they are conveniently someplace sketchy. I usually freak out, silently if there are other people in the car, until I find my way again. The same thing occurs if I happen to be home alone for a night. I’ll hear a little noise and become convinced that there is someone out there lurking about our house. Now, when I was younger and my parents were always around to take care of me and drive me anywhere, I never had these concerns. If my parents got lost driving somewhere, I had no worries that I wasn’t still safe and that they would get me to where we were going. At night, whenever I heard a noise and they were just across the hall, I would simply regard it as an inconvenience that woke me up. I wasn’t worried.
Sometimes I think back to those times and see how young and innocent I was, realizing now how much more I know about the world than I did then (not that I would consider myself an expert on it by any means.) But I’m beginning to think that is not necessarily a good thing. Yes, I’m more aware of things that go on in the world, but I’ve lost my ability to wholeheartedly trust that everything will always work out and how useless it is to worry and be anxious.
But the thing is, we don’t have to be worried or anxious. We have the ability to trust fully in God knowing that “everything will work out for the good of those who love Him.” That’s quite a promise. Why don’t we believe it? I think it’s because we get ahead of ourselves many times. Or rather get ahead of God. I know too many times I trust in myself that I’ll get things done and I’ll look up and I’ll realize that somewhere along the way, I became filled with fear and anxiety.
We need to step back and realize that our security is in Christ. I don’t know about you, but that’s something that I would always love to have, the full assurance of security. And I do have it all the time, but sometimes I’m too focused on myself or my fear to remember that. It’s a security that doesn’t tell us we will never be ill or wounded emotionally or physically, but one that tells us that in the end, when it really matters, we will be just fine. 100 years in this life is a millisecond to the eternal one that is coming for us, whether we are ready or not. And in that life, if we believe and follow God’s will, there will be no war, no stress, no anxiety, no spiderwebs that you can unexpectedly walk into, and no lack of hot water for bubble baths. It will be glorious. Not because of all those wonderful perks, but because of the reason we are there: Complete love of Christ.
I’m human, and I’m a girl, so usually I freak out about a situation that comes up suddenly in which I have no control over. It can happen anywhere from 2-463739 times a day. First of all, it reminds me of my own weakness. And I remember that God is not up there freaking out with me saying, “Agh! I can’t believe her tire went flat on the highway! I didn’t even see that one coming! One minute she was driving, and then bam! Hit a nail. Shoot.” If that was our God, I might be concerned. But it most certainly is not. He knows us even better than we know ourselves and he knows what will happen to us.
C.S. Lewis warned us about the dangers of living in the future, and honestly, I believe that is a huge reason why we struggle with a loss of peace. Living in the future is most dangerous because it has never happened, and the “future” never will. We will always be in the present, and we can’t control what happens in future events. Mark Twain wrote, “I have known a great many dangers in my lifetime, and most of them have never happened.” How true that is. How many times have I worried about a presentation at school for so long and then by an act of God, the teacher decides not to even include the presentation in their course. And I wasted all that time worrying.
So keep God’s peace, because He’s giving it for you to have at all times. Don’t live in the future but trust in the security Christ is for us. In this way, we will be able to have peace in our hearts and then we can spread it to others. How you say? By living it out in our own lives, people can’t help but notice and want to emulate.