In the process of pursuing PEACE with all through my personal tragedy, I found myself yesterday sitting in a McDonalds off Peace Street in Raleigh, NC, right by Broughton High School where President Obama had just spoken. People and police were roaming everywhere and security was tight. As I enjoyed my lunch, noting all of the activity outside, I couldn’t help but think further about the allusiveness of PEACE in our Country and in the World. I thought about the pursuit of PEACE at Virginia Tech through the recently established Center for Peace Studies and Violence Prevention, located in Norris Hall where the majority of people were killed on 04-16-07. I thought about the long standing desire for PEACE in war regions around the world and particularly in the often volatile Middle East. I thought about the typical goal of “World Peace” echoed by nearly every beauty contestant and media celebrity. I pondered the only way personal PEACE can be realized….
PEACE is a state of tranquility or quiet. It is the opposite of discord and violence. When you have peace, you have structure, order and a state of calmness. Does that describe our world? Does this describe your life? Peace is desirable because discord and conflict causes stress and division. Conflict ruins relationships. Peace is allusive when we push for our own way. When we fail to “Unify Diversity” (Top Ten Lesson #8), “Love One Another” (TTL #5) and “Serve One Another” (TTL #7) we fail to realize PEACE.
Conflict cannot be completely avoided because people are different and we each have a variety of goals and interests. Conflict does not have to lead to broken relationships or destruction of property. Too often, we either ignore a problem or we fight against it. I have often addressed these issues in the various blogs on this website (consider my 07/06/09 Blog, “Ignorance is NO EXCUSE!” or even my 06/20/09 Blog, “Apologizing, Forgiveness and Reconciliation”). Peacemaking is different and properly deals with conflict. You can either fake peace, break peace or make peace. It takes a lot of work to make peace, yet the rewards are well worth it.
Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God” (Matthew 5:9). Simon Peter pronounced, “seek peace and pursue it” (1 Peter 3:11b). The Apostle Paul added, “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:18). Making peace is our responsibility and a requirement for those desiring to please God.
Friend, you must first be at personal peace before you can make peace with others. Jesus Christ is the “Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). He made peace possible through His death on the cross:
“For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross” (Colossians 1:19-20).
The only way Virginia Tech, America, the World, or you, dear reader, can have peace is to acknowledge and accept the living Jesus Christ and His way. Loving His Word brings Great Peace (Psalm 119:165). Prioritizing HIM will give you Perfect Peace (Isaiah 26:3)!