I love this quote! It reminds me that it is possible to keep our peace with people with whom we may disagree, as long as we decide to focus our attention on our shared goal(s) – and all done without compromising our beliefs and convictions.
I experienced this just the other day. While I’m not what I would describe as a terribly civic-minded person, I saw a meeting advertised on Nextdoor that talked about some upcoming construction/development that would be taking place in an area not too far from where I lived. I thought to myself, “Well, the city government officials want to know what people have to say – why shouldn’t I go?” And so I went.
The entire experience was fascinating! First of all, there were far more people there than I ever imagined – and from every possible walk of life, too. Secondly, as Lord would arrange things, the person next to whom I sat happened to attend the same university that I did, having graduated only six years before me! Both of us marveled at this, and exchanged contact information.
Anyway, I sat there – mesmerized! – as I saw complete strangers come together on issues of transportation, housing, education, etc – even though they held different views. People spoke strongly about their beliefs, but also listened with great attention and thoughtfulness. And while there certainly were differences of opinion, we were all able to work together accomplish a common purpose: providing helpful feedback to our local officials. As a group, we were of one singular mind and purpose that evening.
And outside of the woman who went to my same college, chances are that I will never see these people again! However, I was encouraged to see how unity is possible, even when people disagree quite strongly on certain issues. Indeed, unity requires effort and thoughtfulness – and if everybody is committed to preserving the peace, so to speak, then it is possible to work together with others whose views differ from ours (especially when we do not see eye to eye!).
Please hear me: I’m not advocating pluralism or anything (no melting pot of various faiths/beliefs), but rather, following Jesus’s example: with a few notable exceptions, He often brought His peace wherever He went. So I can’t help but wonder: I wonder if we should strive to do likewise? 💡