“Did I offer peace today? Did I bring a smile to someone’s face? Did I say words of healing? Did I let go of my anger and resentment? Did I forgive? Did I love? These are the real questions. I must trust that the little bit of love that I sow now will bear many fruits, here in this world and the life to come.” — Henri Nouwen
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We have all heard, “you reap what you sow.” But what does it mean, really?
You may have heard of the “Law of Attraction.” These teachings are correct in that what you put out into the universe is what comes back to you. It is Universal Law. It works for everyone and does not depend on the intent of the user. It works for those with altruistic motivations who only care about helping others and it also works for those with more self serving motives of accumulating power and monetary wealth.
Many times the Law of Attraction is associated with money. And who wouldn’t like to attract more money to themselves?
But we are missing the point if we limit this Universal Law to just one aspect of life. It can all be summed up in these simple words. “You reap what you sow.” Or “what you put out into the world comes back to you.”
We create our own reality using our thoughts, words and actions. If we sow love with loving thoughts, words and actions we will reap love. If we sow fear with fearful thoughts, words and actions we will reap fear. If we sow lack with thoughts, words and actions of not having enough we will reap lack. If we sow joy with joyful thoughts, words and actions we will reap joy. If we sow sorrow with sorrowful thoughts, words and actions we will reap sorrow. If we sow peace with peaceful thoughts words and actions we will reap peace.
Now our outward circumstances may not change, but when we change the way we look at them we change. This is how we create our own reality.
Don’t over complicate this. It really is that simple. Now living it? That’s the hard part. It takes time, patience and practice. But as you begin to see how you are attracting things you want as well as things you don’t want into your life you will want to keep trying to learn this skill.
“Peace is the beauty of life. It is sunshine. It is the smile of a child, the love of a mother, the joy of a father, the togetherness of a family. It is the advancement of man, the victory of a just cause, the triumph of truth.” —Menachem Begin
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This is a question on most of our hearts right now, isn’t it? So how do we stop the violence?
To stop the violence we have to stop being violent. Please don’t leave yet, hang in here with me and let me explain.
When we look at the violence in the world, both close to home and far away we see a huge overwhelming problem with what appears to be no solution. As long as we look at gun violence in this way there will be no solution. Violence begins and ends in the heart of each and every individual and peace really does begin with each of us as well.
So where do we begin?
We begin by putting down our guns. How many people carry guns for “protection”? I know the arguments for this, no one has to tell me. But who will protect our friends, family and neighbors if out of fear we fire a weapon and kill an innocent person? Or it falls into the hands of a curious child or angry teenager?
We must learn to start acting out of love instead of reacting out of fear.
We stop glorifying violence and war.
For Christians it’s time to get out the Bible and look at what it really says about violence. Do you really want to see God through the eyes of fear as portrayed in the Old Testament or through the eyes of love as shown to us by the Master Teacher Jesus. Perhaps it’s time to stop being “soldiers of the cross” and start living the life of love he came to show us.
Spiritual warfare isn’t really fought with guns, bombs, swords, etc. It is fought in the hearts and minds of each of us as we struggle with who will control us — love or fear.
Start watching for the many ways violence creeps into our daily lives through media, contemporary culture and even our words.
Before you can change the world you have to change yourself. Find that place of peace within yourself. Start acting from that sill, calm center. Watch as it changes the way you deal with the world. Watch the ripples of change that begin from the change within you.
This is a time when we must be in prayer, but we must remember our thoughts and our lives are prayers every minute of every day. This is how we “pray without ceasing”. Instead of praying to God to stop the violence and being overwhelmed that is does not stop, perhaps it is time to look at ourselves and what we are bringing into the world..
Oh I am not being naive here. I know changing people is never easy, but we don’t have to change everyone. The only one i have to change is me. The only one you have to change is you. It has to start somewhere.
May our prayer in these turbulent times be let peace begin with me. Practice peace. Live peace. Be peace. — And so it is.