Let there be peace on earth | Faith | The Press and Standard
by The Press and Standard | December 25, 2016 5:00 am
Last Updated: December 21, 2016 at 11:23 am
On last Wednesday night, I stopped by one of our local stores to purchase some ice to keep the drinks cold for my students, that I had promised them I would bring on Thursday. As the cashier and I were standing outside while she was getting the ice for me, a young lady saw and recognized me. She said, “You are that lady…the articles!”
I went on to tell her that, yes, I write for The Press every week on the “Faith and Values” page. Then she went on to say that she said to herself that if she ever saw me, she was going to give me a big hug. And that she did! She hugged me twice and told me what an inspiration my articles have been to her and please do not stop writing because I am getting her through each week. Further, this kind young lady told me that she has saved all of my articles and keeps them in her bag that she carries to work. Consequently, whenever things don’t go so well at work, she said she reaches into her bag, gets one, and reads it to keep her inspired, motivated, and at peace.
Lastly, she told me that she had met me at one of our local churches before at a special event. What a kind compliment to pay me, giving me encouragement to keep writing so that I can be a blessing to others!
Within a minute after she walked in the store, I went to the ice machine to get my two bags of ice off the top to put into my cooler. As I moved toward my car, I spotted a large white truck pulling into the parking lot, going much too fast for the surroundings, never slowing down. He zoomed into the spot right next to my vehicle, and if I did not have quick reflexes, I don’t know if I would have been publishing an article this week. I had to jump back within an instant, or he would have hit me! Everything happened so fast, but I could tell that he saw me.
When he came to a stop, I just stood there and looked at him, with maybe his wife or significant other sitting in the front seat, holding a fine little puppy. Momentarily, I just stopped and stared again, thinking that he would apologize for what he had done, but all I saw were smirks, grins, and looks that appeared to me to be those of pure hate.
Instead of being reactive, I chose to be proactive. I just prayed and said, “Lord, I thank you for who I am.” If this had happened to me about 30 years ago, my reaction would have been very different, probably one of hostility. Oh, I thank the Lord for the peace He has given me to hold on to when I am faced with adversity and the like.
Now, what do these two scenarios have to do with the song, “Let There be Peace on Earth”? In the first scenario, the kind young lady, who had so many beautiful and encouraging things to say to me about my writing, is using my inspirational stories to keep peace within herself. It seems that when things rub her the wrong way, instead of reacting negatively, she lets her “proactive juices” flow by reading one of my inspirational selections to help her remain peaceful and calm.
In the second scenario, a reckless situation that could have injured, maimed, or God forbid — taken me out of here — the good Lord spared me. Therefore, instead of striking back in some way, to keep the peace, I remained calm, prayed, and thanked Him. In other words, I chose to let God fight that battle for me, and He will.
Two lines that stand out for me in this song are “Let there be peace on earth/and let it begin with me.” If we want peace in our world that is so filled with turmoil, it has to begin inside each one of us. We can’t sit back and wait on someone else to make this world peaceful. It is going to take each and every one of us doing his or her part. Then we can all just sit back and watch God do His work. Glory Hallelujah!
During this time of year, tempers tend to flare for various reasons. To name a few, some adults fight over the last toy of some kind that is left on the shelf, road rage is rampant because there are those in a hurry to get to the stores or on the highway to their places of destination for the holidays, some throw a tantrum about a gift they don’t like, parties spiral out of control because somebody gets upset about something probably petty, and the list rolls on.
However, let’s think PEACE this holiday season, and let it begin in each one of us. I leave you with the lyrics of the first stanza of this beautiful Christmas song:
“Let there be peace on earth/And let it begin with me./Let there be peace on earth/The peace that was meant to be./ With God as our Father/Brothers all are we./Let me walk with my brother/In perfect harmony.”
Everyone, remember as you celebrate that Jesus is the reason for the season.
Have a wonderfully blessed Christmas, and never leave home without Him!
(Anna Bright is a minister and educator in Walterboro. She can be reached at email@example.com)