Becoming a Peacemaker is an honorable goal. As with every goal, there’s quite a bit of work to be done before you are really living into Peacemaking. (Keep reading! It gets more encouraging!) You don’t have to have completed all the work before beginning your Peacemaking — but it’s a good idea to engage with all of the components I detail below so that your style of Peacemaking becomes a natural expression of who you are.
Each of us finds our own way into Peacemaking. Writing about Peace set me on the Peacepath. As many of you may know, I have been writing daily musings for 12 years now. If you’d like to sign up, you can do so here. Since October, I’ve also been reading them on TikTok, so if you’d rather listen, find me there at Tiktok/annkeelerevans. My current musings explore what comprises a Peacemaker’s life. They are reflective exercises on principles and values – the components I consider central to Peacemaking. I now have a list of fifteen components which are detailed below. They are mostly in the order I think makes sense to consider, but you may find you’ll want to reflect on them in the order that is most meaningful for your Peacemaking.
Before considering the list which follows, let us remember that Peace and Peacemaking are based in Love and Joy. The more we can embrace that privilege, the more easily we can move toward a life that will change not only how we live but also how the world works and interacts. The power of Peace may seem unimaginable, yet it opens so many Possibilities, if we only dare to dream. Why would we not choose Peacemaking? Because, I assure you, Peacemaking is always choosing us.
There are individual questions to be answered as you contemplate how and why you would live your life in service to Peace. Peace is always a choice. Not making that choice is missing the mark in life. We are here to make this planet, these creatures, and these communities healthier and more whole.
Let’s consider the following components of Peacemaking.
- Call: What is the work you are called to do? What is your life’s work in making this planet and this world a better place?
- Beliefs: In what or whom do you believe? How is your world formed and organized?
- Values: What are the central values of your life? Look at your life. Is it consistent with those values? Do you need to adjust or change them? Or do you need to adjust or change your life?
- Faithfulness: Do you keep faith with those values? Are they the ones you live by, and make your decisions with? Are you known for the values you espouse?
- Application: Values matter only as they’re put to work in the world. Where do you understand your responsibilities to yourself and your values lie?
- Commitment: Are you committed to an authentic expression of yourself in the world?
- Presence: Life goes on all around us. Do we show up, pay attention, and participate in it?
- Connections: With what or whom are your deepest connections?
- Respite: What time do you take away from the world to recharge? What attention do you pay to your eating and sleeping?
- Nature: How often do you get out into the Nature? Do you go simply for sport or can you allow yourself to go there to breathe in the beauty?
- Play: What does play look like for you? Do you know humans are not the only Earth creatures who play for no reason other than the fun of it?
- Balance: How do you balance your life? What are the pieces of your life you hold as important and what emphasis do you place on which of them?
- Community: What community supports you in this? Whom do you support? How? Why?
- Possibility: The stronger our connections, the broader our communities, the greater the number of ways we can make life work for the good of all.
- Peace: The richest and most rewarding life is one in which we keep finding new ways to live into Peace.
Even though my job as a minister demanded my exploring some of these components, I have found that, since my retirement and my revisioning myself as a Peacemaker, I have had to go back and explore them all. Regular practice of these components constantly reveals all the ways that I am a Peacemaker. My life focused on Peace.
Peace looks different to all of us. Engaging with these fifteen components may surprise you — many more of us are Peacemakers than have ever given ourselves permission to be. In the same way many of us are doing important work that we do not acknowledge as Peacemaking. How different would our world be, if we understood what we’re already engaged in and accomplishing as Peacemakers.
It seems many people are more concerned with life’s meaning rather than its purpose. We are here to decide our individual purposes, based upon our values and gifts, to pursue them and, in that, make life meaningful. Here’s what Victor Frankl had to say about meaning:
“We need to stop asking about the meaning of life, and
instead to think of ourselves as those
who are being questioned by life —daily and hourly.
Our answer must consist, not in talk and meditation,
but in right action and in right conduct. Life ultimately means
taking the responsibility to find the right answer
to its problems and to fulfill the task which it constantly sets
for each individual. These tasks, and therefore the meaning of life,
differ from person to person, and from moment to moment.”
I’ll be exploring the Peacemaker’s life more fully. I encourage you to join me in that exploration. One way to do that is through my daily musings, you can sign up here. And please, consider the ways that you are already living a Peacemaker’s life. The world is already being enriched by your gifts!
Salaam, Shalom, Peace. Blessed be.