Eric's Sunday Sermon; Love, Peace and War
The Tempest Brewing
Just Go Along?
Are love and peace the opposite of war? It would seem that with love and peace there would be no war. We think that is correct in the socially interactive world. But can war exist with love and peace. Note that we are not saying that war can co-exist with love and peace.
I met up with a wonderful “big sister” just the other night. And I asked her if she was happy. She looked right at me and said no. Well I suppose that made me a bit sad. Yes the circumstance in which we were together was a death of her real little brother and my honorary brother. But shouldn’t she have been happy to see me anyway? I think that sets a tone for the separation yet synergism between our notions represented by the words “Love”, “Peace” and “War”.
A Letter From Afar
So there I am in a boîte de nuit in Paris in about ’75. And it was an old place. Back then the room was filled with smoke, a favorite drink was Cointreau shots of course “drank” with one’s pinky out. Americans were pretty much tolerated then but seldom welcomed. But not here where I was greeted with fanfare and warm thoughts. Everyone quite older than I. Someone even raised a toast to me. And so I became suspicious. Christian, my French connection ‘-) instructed me to look at the walls of pictures and paintings. Oh My God! World War II pictures of gayety and dancing and seemingly love found right here with GI’s and French gals. There were also some of ragtag yet strong of spirit men, underneath the photos read “La Résistance”.
Happiness existed in the throes of war.
But this is not the war we speak of today. This may be a far fiercer war. The war within.
Back to the big sister. Who by the way is a doctor of psychology. We agreed to disagree. She used the word “content” and I used the words filled with joy no matter. But in both cases we related a peace of mind and spirit. Perhaps mood acceptance. Perhaps acceptance is the answer to all my problems. Or perhaps I delude myself. I do not want to know the difference.
Once I was climbing far far from others. I picked a route. I made a mistake. A large stone gave way under my weight and tons of rocks broke away leaving a shear cliff under me. And as I said I picked a wrong route so there was no way out. I panicked and then found peace as the end was near in this conflict of the canyon and I.
The Finest Conflict Ever Made -- and by the way can that Ginger dance
This Really Is Just In a River Bed.
War and Peace
My young son was quite curious about dying and heaven. He was asking hard questions about this idea of heaven. Oh boy the “birds and the bees” and the flowers and the trees would be much easier. So I put the task upon him to ask one straight forward question with no gray area. Ask a simple yes or no answer. He asked “where will I go when I die”. Oh thank goodness I thought, he had thrown a soft pitch I could knock out of the park. “Son, you have a soul, and souls don’t live and souls don’t die they are not made of water ‘nor made of sky”. They live on forever they just leave this body and this earth and reach a heaven. Phew crises averted. Not so easy as it never is.
What is Heaven?
So the boy asked what is heaven? And I of course asked him what he thought it was like. “Peace and Love living on the soft clouds”. I had done well to teach him heaven on earth but transferring that to heaven was a leap.
I drew a heavy breath for this was hard. “Son to me, heaven would be a place where obstacles were placed and I could spend my days there trying to overcome them, a kind of war with only striving with no end”. “That is crazy dad, that is not loving and peaceful”. “son for me the trying is the heaven, the walking forward in tough times is what I desire most”. A squeeze of my hand and a heartfelt look, “then I will go with you dad”.
War is not simple. Can Peace and Love be had if it is not strived for and held as the destination that should not be achiever but only yearned for?
Again think of this as not mortal combat. But conflict within. A mastery of self. A place where space has no meaning a positon where time has no bearing. Peace can be a contentment in struggle. Love can be against all odds. It is said that Love and Peace are what we choose and war is what we are challenged by.
Money or Riches?
Do The Clouds War With The Sun?
Give Me A Break, I Find Peace In Conflict
I have been blessed with harsh battles. I have seen the excrement of evil. I have held the tail of the dragon and the tiger. These are metaphors for a life well fought. If the road to good is just a highway we walk down of what value is it? We hope it goes well for you when you lay down your life for another, but we know that is not the point. The point is not the outcome. The point is in the laying down.
If we are dancing through a wonderful field of daisies and find peace, tranquility and are in love how wonderful. But if we are trespassing there as it is not our field we will find trouble. We shall be ousted from that paradise with those we cherish. If we choose to dance in our barren field that has just been planted with seeds of daisies we trample our seeds. It is our need to wait for our moment after the hard work is done and the war of patience is won.
If We Do Not Wage a War Within There Is No Victory
What would it be like to have an angel on both shoulders instead of a devil on one and an angel on the other? Of what type of free will would we suffer. Either do good or do good or do a combination of goods and carry on with no care or effort to defeat evil. There is this great book you should read. It is called the Bible. Now understand that it teaches us much. But about 80% of it is about the waging of conflict/war. Kind of weird as the basic ending tenants we call the New Testament is about love. But even then it is a battle between good and evil.
I shall not send my young son, or my elder son off into the world or school with a notion that all the people are good and follow them anywhere. I shall insist they understand that choices are to be made. I shall instruct that they maintain peace and love yet be ready to do war against wrong.