Here, or below, we’re continuing on the theme of The Nature of Peace, this the third of several excerpts from an address I gave in Hamilton, Canada in November 2014. Excerpt #1 is here and #2 is here.
But first, this brief conversation:
Dad: “And, guys, whenever you feel down about school, just remember, you only have 15 years left.”
Three kids in stereo: “Daaaaad!”
Liz: “I’m going to be a journalist!”
(Journalists, apparently, don’t need something as lumbering and questionable as school. … Time will tell on Liz’s life direction – she has many talents. Still, some of you might remember this fine award-winning story from the archives, from a then 9-year-old Liz.)
This leads to the real good news, which is you. You’re the good news. You’re the nature of peace, created in God’s image, just a lower than the angels. You’re doing all sorts of things to promote and cultivate peace. You’re working against this natural tendency for war. Congratulations again, nominees and winners.
And how are you doing this? Are you just gathering together to hold hands and sing Kumbaya? No, you’re imagining a better world. You’re picturing it. Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
So you’re taking action. You’re showing courage. You’re looking to something larger than yourself. You’re not just saying “sorry.”
This reminds me of a story of when I first arrived in Uganda some years ago. I was only there one week when I came out of a store to find that my vehicle had been smashed and robbed. The thieves took the electronic door panels along with my good camera.
So I called over security, a couple of boy-men who had uniforms that were way too big, drooping off of them, and old guns in-hand that looked like they were from the 16th century, and they came over and looked at the smashed glass all over the asphalt and said, “Oh. Sorry.”
They said I could get help at the local police precinct, so I walked up there and came back in an old beater taxi-van with two officers and we walked up to the robbed vehicle in the store parking lot and they looked down at the smashed glass all over the asphalt and said, “Oh. Sorry.”
Now, some of you may think, “Wow. Look at Froese, look at Chamberlain. They’re in the Middle East. They’re in Africa. They’re getting robbed. Why can’t I be robbed? I wish I could be robbed.” But we’re all doing the same thing. We’re all serving. And, quite frankly, I don’t see a difference between what you’re doing and what we’re doing. I don’t see any difference where it’s done.
Because for you, the world has come to Hamilton. Right here in Hamilton you’re going to people who have different life experiences, from different cultures, and different ways of looking at the world. Right here in Hamilton, you’re crossing borders and leaving your comfort zones.
And no matter where we are we can encourage each other in this spirit of service.