Let Peace Begin with Me

When I was a child one of my favorite books was entitled The Sky is Falling.  It is a story most of us read as young children where a little chicken named Henny-Penny brings a world to a panic when he runs throughout the world saying “The Sky is Falling, The Sky is Falling”.  This story has been part of American folk tales for centuries as a lesson to show how panic can bring about real harm to so many people.

I look around the world sometimes and feel like Henny-Penny.  I think the sky is falling.  Panic and fear are currently plaguing our world.  We have a global pandemic with COVID-19, racial tensions throughout the world, economic struggles and even the fighting of do I or do I not wear a mask.  I have heard many people turning into Henny-Penny and running around saying the end of the world is here.

Sometimes it is hard to find peace.  At times it is hard to stay faithful and centered on God.  I know for myself, there are many days I just shake my head and say what is next?  Then I see something that makes perfect sense to me.  During one of the protests there was a child holding a sign with some drawings on it.  It read, If you want to change the world, start with your heart and share love with your family.  Then we can change the world.

There is a lot of wisdom in that simple statement.  If we want to change the world, we first need to investigate our own hearts and see what message we are sowing in the world.  Our we being people of hope?  Do we spend more time focusing on the negative things going wrong or have the courage to share the good news of God’s love?

St. Francis of Assisi has a prayer that talks about what we are called to do to bring about change.  It is known as the Peace Prayer and I believe like the little girl holding a sign amid chaos, we as Christians need to start making this prayer part of our daily lives.  It goes:

Lord make me an instrument of peace.  Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light and where there is sadness let me sow joy.

Oh, Divine master grant that I may not so much seek, to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love.  For it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

We need to remain calm and peaceful in the world.  As Christians we do want to bring about positive changes to our world.  We need to strive daily to be always walking in the footsteps of the Lord.  As Christians, we need to be deeply rooted in the love of God and be willing to share the message of hope in a world that is living in panic.

I remember hearing a beautiful song sung for many years called Let There be Peace on Earth.  The end of the song simply says, let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me. I know for myself, I want to bring about change, so I am going to remain hopeful in the love of God and sharing His message of peace to my world.  I invite you to do the same.  Together we can change our world!