Just another traveler on life’s highway hanging out in the slow lane. It’s quiet. It’s peaceful. Beyond the horizon is rest calling my name. Green pastures, still waters, my cup overflows.
Is the idea of peace on earth overrated? Probably so. By nature man is not an agreeable sort of creature. Man would sooner throw a few rocks and ask questions afterwards than engage in rational dialog first. History tells us that man, having never learned to compromise, has resorted instead to heavy clubs, then swords, then artillery, then nuclear weapons that can annihilate every species on earth and it’s habitat.
Mankind seems to be the only creature on earth that does not fit into the natural scheme of flora and fauna. Plant and animal lifeforms all intuitively know how to grow together, live together, and in many instances compliment the existence of one another. They do not wantonly kill because of philosophical differences or uncontrolled passions.
No, man is probably not held in high esteem by the world’s other creatures. Oh sure, that pet dog or cat loves you unconditionally, but stop putting out food for Rover or stop cleaning Fifi’s cat box and it’s just a matter of time before that dog will turn on you snapping at your heels or the feline poop producer will be crapping on your favorite chair. Don’t kid yourselves. Man is low on the totem pole of earthly inhabitants. He does not fit in and the rest of nature knows it.
In order to compensate, a complex system of theologies has been created proclaiming mankind as the master of all species, of all resources on earth in order to justify our existence. And then theology goes on to say that when our habitat has been trashed and destroyed, miraculously a savior will appear to clean up the mess we have made. Believe that if you must, but consider this. The nugget of truth in those earth-renewal philosophies is that mankind can be redeemed through an inner awakening, a fact-finding soul search that reveals our spiritual relevance in a crazy, chaotic world system. Many mystics have understood this, Francis and Clare of Assisi knew, Jesus the pauper from Nazareth recognized that each individual has within himself or herself the capacity to live in peace with himself, with humanity, with the earth itself.
I love the question following THE BIG BOOK’s (Alcoholics Anonymous) revelation of promises available through sober living. AA PROMISES “Are these extravagant promises? We think not.”
Is this an extravagant promise? Peace on earth? The Christian scriptures guarantee it.
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27
We could rightfully say, “Bah humbug”, considering the turmoil and corruption which is rampant worldwide. We will continue on our road to destruction and annihilation when we forget that Jesus, in the words of John 14, qualifies his peace: “Not as the world giveth…”
I am chasing down the wrong trail when I envision a peaceful world as one with no wars, no famines, no oppression. What will save me from the surrounding darkness, from a troubled and fearful heart, is only available within. Quite possibly that is the peace on earth, goodwill toward men, that the book of Luke attributes to the angels singing to the shepherds watching their flocks.
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Luke 2:14
It is an inside job. When we feed and nourish the soul through introspection, contemplation and meditation, when we read scriptures revealed by the wisdom of the ancients, then we can dwell in our world of peace and then we can extend that peace to all mankind.
Peace to you. Namaste. The Christmas season is a great time to discover a peaceful and fearless heart as proclaimed by Jesus the Christ, Buddha, Muhammad and other messengers of the ancient world. All of them claim a piece to the God puzzle.