BOB RINEARSON: Making an impact towards ‘peace of earth’ starts with us
One saying that we are all familiar with and frequently use this time of year is Peace on Earth.
It is a phrase of hope. It is what we pray for, yearning that a world embracing coexistence between all cultures could one day be a reality.
The scriptures are full of references about peace, both who receives it and those who don’t. As it is written in Psalms 37:37, “Consider the blameless, observe the upright; a future awaits those who seek peace.” But living in the present world, as well as what we’ve learned from the past, it seems everyone holds a different opinion on just how peace can achieved.
But a state of peace can be relative, depending of course on what kind of peace that each of us desires. For peace can be threatened at all levels of existence.
It may be the peace that a child desires when having to hear his parents arguing every night, hoping for a kind of happiness and contentment that the other children he plays with at school seem to enjoy.
It may be the kind of peace that the 12-year-old seeks each time he or she enters their school yard knowing that the bullies are waiting to harass, intimidate and mock them for no other reason than because they can.
Perhaps it is the peace that the single mother prays for knowing that the drug dealers and gang members who control the alleyways and street corners will eventually come for her own children. Offering temptations that will obliterate any hopes that she holds for them escaping the life she herself has endured.
It may be the peace that the police officer working the midnight shift longs for. Tired of seeing the corpses of those who accepted a life which made being gunned down inevitable, or the young innocents who got caught up in the crossfire. It is a peace that the officer seeks in order to ease the tensions of his wife and children whose hearts beat a bit faster each time he or she leaves the house to go on duty.
It is the peace that the parents of a child addicted to drugs believe will never come. They watch as their child slowly continues to sink into an existence of self-harming, constantly living lies in order to hide their appetites.
It is the peace that the parents of a child who died in a foreign land defending this country can no longer find in the backyard, or on a school athletic field, or ever again enjoying the contentment of knowing that their son or daughter are sleeping soundly within the secure comforts of their own bedroom.
Peace on Earth is a noble aspiration. But as stated previously, peace is relative. Peace on Earth may very well begin with peace in the home, as well as peace in the community. It is a peace where each and every one of us can be more responsible and more involved. It is a peace where words such as security, safety, structure and accountability are not just words, but achievable goals.
There is another bible verse that talks about peace. This one comes from Isiah 26:3, “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”
What ability to make an impact, begins within us.
Bob Rinearson is a resident of Fort Wayne