My husband and I are getting ready to go on a trip, in a couple of weeks. We bought our plane tickets a while back, and I remember discussing with him, as we pored over expedia search results, what flight to pick based on departure time. I convinced him to pick the only one with an 11:00 am departure, partly because I am NOT a morning person (6:00 am departure means I have to be at the airport when?!?! And get up when?!?! Just let me stay up all night instead). Now I am especially glad that we chose it, in light of these “increased security measures” at the airport.
I admit — I don’t keep up with the news much. So, I hear it was taking up to 6 hours to get through security before their flights?!? Seriously?!? That is completely ridiculous, and I think we can all agree that travel by train is starting to look extremely attractive. I went over half way across Canada by train, by the way, when I was a student and it was very enjoyable… as long as you didn’t have to be anywhere on a certain day. I think our train was about 18 hours late arriving. But it was nice!
I also heard that people wouldn’t be allowed to get up or do anything at their seat (keep anything on their lap) for an hour before landing. That makes me want to go even more. (Sorry for the sarcasm, it just leaks out sometimes.)
All this because someone did something somewhere on a plane at Christmas time. I hear security is always stepped up at that time of year, at least in some parts of the world (not mine). I wonder why this is… because there is a perceived increase in threat. Security analysts say so. Because bad people apparently like to carry out their evil plans at this time of year. And yet, millions of people, Christians, are supposedly praying for Peace on Earth, extra hard, at that time of year. Does this strike anyone else as ironic?
So it made me think: what is wrong with our thinking, those of us who pray for peace on earth and don’t get it? I think it’s because we don’t really believe in it. We don’t really actually think it can happen. We don’t imagine it ever being possible. We pine for it, like a child pines for a puppy in the window, or a toy at the store — “but Father, I want it” — or like a knitter oogling some gorgeous yarn. 🙂 (This is the idea, and you can probably think of an analogy to suit yourself.) Whatever it is, we want it, but don’t actually think we will get it, haven’t imagined what we’d do if we got it, and maybe aren’t even responsible enough to care for it. We whine for it, thinking that more whining (praying) will get it, not realizing that it’s not just about repetition. Isn’t a whiny child annoying? If the parent buys it things to make it stop, the child quickly learns to “execute that program” whenever it wants something. But God is not like a parent! Definitely not! Whining has no effect on Spirit, only on us. It causes us to focus on what we don’t have, not what we do have, and eliminates gratitude instantly. And we believe we’ll be happy when we get whatever we’re pining for, without realizing that happiness comes from within, not outside.
That includes peace. We won’t necessarily be happy when there’s peace on earth if our happiness does not come from within!
Most people think “oh, wouldn’t it be nice?” when they think of peace. But that’s as far as they go. It’s way more powerful to really imagine what the world would be like — use your imagination to its full capacity, as far as it will take you. Then, start to believe that your vision — that peace — is possible! Have you ever imagined a vacation, and when you got there, it was exactly like you had hoped and you said “yeah! This is exactly what I imagined! This is awesome!” That’s the feeling you’re going for, the feeling to create in yourself (oh, did I forget to mention you can create whatever feeling you want in yourself, sorry).
Yeah, peace is going to be amazing! I can’t wait! This is awesome!
Of course, the trick is to do this without ever getting discouraged by what you might hear on the news. Or from anyone else who is discouraging. And without buying into the whole notion of terrorism, evil people, and danger all over the place. That’s the trick. That’s always the trick when you would like something to be different… to believe it is possible despite the naysayers. Without any leaking sarcasm. (Hmm, that might be tough.)