Recently there have been many requests for the people of the nation to unite in prayer for some or other cause. Sometimes we are asked to wear a certain colour to show our support, for example to wear white for peace or black for a political cause to name a couple.
Personally, although I think it is a wonderful idea, I am very skeptical of such days. We have hundreds of days like that - AIDS day, Women's Day, Anti-Abuse Day etc. I understand the concept of such days, but the problem is that 9 out of 10 times, that is exactly where it stays. For one day a year we become ultra aware of the problem, we focus our energies on celebrating the day, make pledges, but the very next day it fades away again, and only occasionally I'll find myself fleetingly (and guiltily) thinking about the plight of the thousands of AIDS orphans, the countries at war, the local unrest and my neighbour across the street's swollen and black eye.
I am not saying we must not have such days, but I am saying that maybe we must not rely on such days to bring about the change we are hoping for, we must each one take the burden on ourselves to make the change happen. Peace is not something only for super powers to negotiate, it is not the signing of peace treaties or hippies to chant about. No, Peace is very personal. It starts with me. Talking about peace is beautiful, it falls comfortably on the ear, but it is time to stop talking about it, and time to actively start living peace.
From the earliest times people have been in search of peace, chasing after happiness, hoping that by finding it their lives would be changed. Yet despite peace treaties and the hoisting of white flags, peace stays ever elusive. The simple answer is that peace will never be found elsewhere, but in the human heart itself. Before we can negotiate world peace we have to first of all be at peace with ourselves and at peace with our Maker. When I am at peace within, then it is easy to pass it on to those around me. Inner peace cannot be contained, it becomes like a fountain bubbling out through my words, my actions and even my smile.
My whole life will become a testimony of the peace I have within my heart. A person at peace with himself and God will also live in peace with others. Such a person will spread peace wherever he goes, and become an instrument of peace.
Am I such a person? Do I silence those who incite others to aggression, or do I keep quiet, or even talk along? Is my idea of peace to keep quiet when I hear others instigating dissent? To live a life of peace does not mean sitting back and not doing anything. To live peace is to actively DO peace, to be an instrument of peace. To quote St Francis of Assisi : "Lord, make me an instrument of your peace: Where there is hatred let me sow love."