Several years ago, I would have marveled at the sound of thunder in mid-November. After Sunday’s outbreak of over eighty tornadoes across the mid-West, “marvel” seems a questionable description. A year ago in March, the temperature here in northeastern Kansas topped ninety degrees. Tomorrow’s predicted high is 51 with freezing rain likely in the evening. Last week’s hellacious typhoon brought unprecedented damage to the Philippine Islands.
Across its ranges, terrains and changes, this planet exudes evidence of imbalance and imperfection. Its shakings, quakings, rumblings and rattlings show us that we are not in a world at peace with itself, even in its own nature. How much less do we see evidence that our species is any more successful in its strivings?
I do not wish to even list them; suffice it to say that no one with eyes open can deny the turmoil, violence, evil and wrath.
To promise peace in the midst of this must surely be madness itself. How clear can it be that the courses of this world do not lead to harmony and tranquility?
Even though a Jewish carpenter spoke words of life and peace nearly two thousand years ago, the world still studies the ways of war. The world still strives for success of the self above the welfare of the multitude. The world still resolves to return evil for evil, violence for violence, pain for pain. And harvests the full reaping of its choices.
We learn so slowly, and yet we must learn, the conquering power of turning the other cheek, the incredible strength of meekness, the forge-quenching miracle of forgiveness. Though we despise obedience and idolize rebellion, surely we must have some creeping sense of awareness that what we have so often traveled is not the road to peace. Within or without.
That path begins with submission and ends with victory, even over our most mortal enemy: Self.