Peacemakers in a World in Turmoil

Last week frightened me. Four times in four days, Russian warplanes were spotted off the coast of Alaska. North Korea announced it planned to develop long-range missiles and test nuclear weapons. ISIS claimed responsibility for the death of a police officer at the Champs Élysées. China’s bombers were on high alert. In the U.S., our political divide intensified. Talk about a world in turmoil.

Simultaneously, at Variety’s Power of Women luncheon in New York, Blake Lively was honored for her work with Child Rescue Coalition, which seeks to eradicate child pornography from the Internet. Audra McDonald was recognized for her work with Covenant House, an organization that helps homeless teens in 30 cities across six countries. Meanwhile, Barbara Bush (daughter of George W. Bush) was running her nonprofit, Global Health Corps, fighting for global health equity. Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai was continuing her work as an education activist.

Despite a world in turmoil, peacemakers always exist. Jesus said in his Sermon on the Mount, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God” (Matthew 5:9). He gave his life to make peace between God and sinners. We, who have a relationship with God, are called to share his peace.

We are not called to avoid or appease to keep peace. We are called to make peace! But how do we do that?

Joel Osteen uses the metaphor of a car to express how we should respond to conflict. We don’t want to hold on to past grudges or sorrows, and that is why the rearview mirror is so small. It is the windshield, deep and wide, which offers the view of where we are going and keeps us from getting bogged down.

Today, there may be an area of your life calling for peace. Be true to yourself. Seek the conflict and address it. There may be a relationship that is calling for reconciliation. Run to, not from, that relationship. You will have the chance to clarify your differences and move forward. It’s all about looking through the windshield and putting the past in the rearview mirror—just as women like Blake Lively, Audra McDonald, Barbara Bush, and Malala Yousafzai are doing.