Politics for the Peace Seeker
From the Monday Mission, October 19, 2020
My first week in college was a nightmare. I was that wide-eyed kid who was overwhelmed by the grand proportions of everything, the prospect of trying to figure out what to do with my life, and most importantly, the bus system.
I had to bus from one side of campus to another during a 15-minute break, which still left me running with a heavy backpack to the classroom and arriving sweaty, out of breath, and late.
On one occasion as I stood panting in the doorway of the packed bus, it lurched into motion, forcing me to stumble down the aisle like a drunkard. As the bus swayed I basically fell into the one available seat just as a choice word slipped through my lips.
When I looked sheepishly up at my seat mate, it turns out she was an older friend from my church back home. Oops. Pretty much every moment of the first week was like that. I was that kid. I felt so small.
Eventually I realized that my degree wouldn’t be built in a day. Friendships would come with time. The bus system would be figured out, kind of. I was small but it didn’t lessen my purpose there.
And this is how I feel about politics too. As I try to be engaged…but not overwhelmed, I often find myself asking questions like “What can I really do to affect change other than to vote?” or “What can I ever change about these problems? What can I contribute?” I often feel small and unprepared.
Here’s one thing that has settled my heart on these issues. Peace doesn’t live in nations. Peace doesn’t live in political parties. Peace doesn’t live in our circumstances. It lives in people. It is not inanimate but relational. A peaceful nation is the collective peace of people like you and I. And while policies can drastically impact our circumstances and ease life or make it more difficult, they cannot make or break our peace. We are the peace.
So when I drop off my ballot, I will remember that the president doesn’t make or break my peace. When I feel frustrated by distance learning and mask wearing and COVID confusion, I will remember, it doesn’t get to determine who I am.
I am still that same small person, but that has no bearing on my purpose as a peace bearer and a peace maker. We all have different roles that we are supposed to fulfill in life and they are equally valuable. (See Ephesians 4). We are all needed in the sphere that we are in. We’re needed to be fully alive and fully present and fully at peace.
The person who carries undying peace is incredibly powerful, incredibly resilient, and incredibly potent in whatever they do.
Together, collectively, you and I make peaceful spaces. In our homes. In our work places. In our communities. In our churches. If we could get that deep down in our souls, how different the world would be. What great changes we could make.
Your Monday Mission is to consider the following two questions…
1. What is the most stressful or frustrating part of this coming week for me? Take a moment to write it down, release it, and pray over it.
2. How can I be the one to carry and spread peace into that situation instead of letting it dictate my well being?
This is my prayer for us this week: “God help me to hold onto my significance in you and where you have me right now. It may be small. It may be difficult. But you are not limited by those things. Help me to carry your peace everywhere I go this week. Amen.”
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