It Does Depend On Us

     Okay. I have to confess. I think I am officially tired of it. I am tired of the rhetoric. I am tired of the debating. I am tired of people shouting over one another so as their voice is the one that gets heard.
     I am writing this on July 8, 2016. We know what has happened the past couple days. People are shooting people. People are dying. They are dying in streets. And what will happen is what most always happens. There will be more debates. There will be more shouting. There will be more calls to change some laws. There will be appeals to keep the laws the same.
     I am no longer going to assume a side in any of these discussions. Why? Because I am tired of it. People are dying...dying violent deaths. All the debate and discussion has not changed that tragic fact. Perhaps--just perhaps--there is something I can do.
     I can pray. I can step up my discussions with God. I can begin by asking God to cleanse my heart. Pray. And I can hear someone saying, "Of course we can pray." Some will tell me that is obvious. We have been praying.
Well, maybe there is something else I can do.    
     We are familiar with the song about letting there be peace on earth. The song asks for peace on earth, and that peace can begin with me. That is so familiar that it has almost become a cliché. Peace on earth. Let it begin with me. Sure. Sounds nice. 
     Then I read the words of Paul in his letter to the church in Rome. He writes in the twelfth chapter, "Live in harmony with one another...If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with one another."
     "So far as it depends on you...." So far as it depends on me....
     There are a couple of people with whom I am currently not at peace. (So far as it depends on me...?) I believe I will begin by contacting one of them. (So far as it depends on me...?) I will see if there is any way peace can be restored to our relationship...any way we can live in harmony. (So far as it depends on me...?) Then I will move on to the next person.
     Will this put an end to the violence and bring world peace? Probably not...not by itself. But what if we were to call a cease fire in the verbal wars...? What if we were to seek to actively make make that peace one person and relationship at a time...? It would at least be a start. And we must begin somewhere. You see, it does depend on us.
     Yep. I am tired of it. So I think I will do some peace-making today. That might just be exciting. Jesus said peacemakers are blessed; they are children of God. That's pretty cool.   
                                                                                           Pastor Dan Doughty