When I think of peace, I think of the Shire from the Lord of the Rings or recently this little spot behind my apartment. It takes me two minutes to walk there but I step outside with my cup of coffee and sit on the little hill under the trees and look over the field that will soon be filled with corn. They aren’t mountains, rivers, or the ocean (which I greatly prefer) but I have to admit that the prairie has a certain beauty that I am beginning to appreciate.
Then there is the exact opposite of peace: strife, war, pain, obnoxious people. Have you ever met that one person who brings a room down just by entering it? The types of people who thrive off of negativity and complaining? It is similar to fighting a gelatinous cube like you would in Dungeons and Dragons. Some of the most terrifying words in the world are “You start to go numb as the gelatinous cube devours you alive.” Terrifying thought isn’t it? The idea of going numb in the soul as the negativity and complaints of others weigh you down is equally terrifying to me. I notice it in myself. I am a tiny bit harsher with people, slightly more arrogant toward my neighbor, or a little bit more cynical with my friends. Being this way is not our calling. You are human and I am in human, according to what I believe we are all made in God’s image. The one that I worship also brought peace so shouldn’t I be doing the same thing?
Peace is such an elusive concept and I don’t think that I will ever have it fully figured out. What I do know though is that it has caused me to question the way that I interact with people. The words that I say and the actions that I perform all have consequences whether good or bad. Be someone who brings peace. Right now I want to start with the words that I say. More times than I care to admit, I say something hurtful or painful to someone else. Why would I say that? To make me feel better about myself, to put myself above others? I don’t think that is our calling. Bring peace to the people in your life. Yes, even the person that irritates you to no end, because at the end of the day they are still human and so are you. Yes that means think before you post that article on Facebook (guilty of this one more times than I care to count) that you know will irritate (insert name of the person who identifies with a certain sexuality, political party, 2nd amendment opinion, etc. here).
Peace isn’t easy but it is worth striving for.