As many of you, I watched with baited breath and much prayer the rescue of all those young boys trapped in a cave in Thailand. The rescue was nothing short of a miracle. We watched as everyone did what they could to help. Some of the women in the community washed the clothes of the workers. Why? Because they wanted to help in some way and that’s one thing they could do. I watched as they gathered the dive team. Gathered were expert divers representing a lot of different countries all working toward a common goal. Working together, they were successful.
As I watched it unfold I asked myself the question, “Why can’t we have world peace?” Here are these people, speaking different languages, from different countries, working together for a common goal trusting their very lives to one another. It was a beautiful thing to watch.
I was saddened to see on the news that Anthony Bourdain took his life. I always enjoyed watching his shows. He would take you into a different country and share the history and the customs of the people. He would always talk about the customs and problems the people were facing around a meal. It was always interesting.
On one show I remember how he had a meal with a couple from Israel and a couple from Palestine. Here these four persons were sitting at a table with Anthony Bourdain enjoying a meal together. It was obvious from their conversations all four wanted peace. It was also obvious they did not have the same attitudes about war and peace as their leaders in Palestine and Israel. They pointed out they were very much alike. They want the same things, to earn a decent living and be able to provide for their families. They wanted their children to have the opportunity to have a good education. When the show finished, you realized they held more in common than not. I asked again, “Why can’t we have world peace?” I believe most people from most countries are just like these two couples from Israel and Palestine: they want peace, but their leaders don’t.
I often thought about the sacrament of Holy Communion while watching Anthony Bourdain. The church is made up of all kinds of people, but we come to the Table to receive the sacrament that our Lord provides. At the table we set aside our differences and feast on the Lord. I sometimes think our leaders need to meet over a good meal, not a meal of elegance in a huge banquet hall, but in a dining room, in someone’s home, eating a home cooked meal. It would be great if they just met four or five at a time and really got to know one another. Maybe that experience would help them understand that as humans, there is more we hold in common than divides us.
I have been watching the Tour de France. Here again, bicycle riders representing countries from all over the world. Speaking different languages, in competition with each other, but respectful of one another, giving credit where credit is due, competing strongly but with respect and care. Why can’t there be world peace?
Tonight, I watched much of the World Track and Field event being held in England. Here again, participants from all over the world competing with one another. Speaking different languages, from different countries, with different customs, they were quick to congratulate the winners and comfort the losers. Why can’t there be world peace?
I don’t have any control of our world, but I do have control over my little world. I realize that there can be no peace in the world until there is peace in my little world. So, I will work harder to be a peace with those around me. I will do my best to accept our differences and attitudes. I will do all I can do my part in bringing peace.
I wish peace for all of you as we continue to do Kingdom work together in the Pensacola District. May there be peace on earth and goodwill toward men and let us realize it starts with us!
Dr. Tim Trent
Pensacola District Superintendent