We will never find the peace we want if we keep searching for it in all the wrong ways
By Tony Staley
We are celebrating Easter this year shortly after a decisive and
relatively fast war to oust the government of Saddam Hussein from
Iraq. We can only hope and pray that the victory by American-led
forces will bring a new life of peace and security to the Iraqi
people, who have lived in terror under Hussein since 1979.
The overwhelming military win over Hussein also should bring
feelings of peace and security to citizens of the United States.
The war was needed, the Bush Administration said, to end a regime
that not only terrorized Iraqis, but also terrorized Americans by
supporting al-Qaida's 9-11 attack on the U.S. Plus, the President
said, Hussein was a potential supplier of chemical, biological and
nuclear weapons of mass destruction.
With the threat gone, we should all feel safe, right?
Perhaps, but don't count on it.
There are, it can be pointed out, good reasons for feeling
insecure. For example, Osama bin Laden is still at large calling
for more attacks on the United States. Nor have our differences
with North Korea been resolved. There also have been rumblings that
the U.S. should next move against Iran or Syria for helping Iraq
during the war. And, while it receives little attention, the
situation in Afghanistan is far from resolved, particularly with
the resurgence of the Taliban.
Meanwhile, in in the U.S., Interpol reported that there were
15,586 murders, 90,178 rapes and 10.5 million thefts in 2001.
Beyond that, we continue to totter between yellow and orange
alerts. In our homes, we're bombarded by frenetic TV programs and
by TV commercials that tell us whatever we have isn't enough and
that keeping-up-with-the-Joneses is second-best to
Somehow, the richest country in the world -- a nation with
approximately one-quarter of the world's wealth -- and a military
so sophisticated and well-trained that it could readily defeat any
foe, is wracked with insecurity and fears.
And, sadly no amount of police, armed forces, weapons, alarm
systems or duct tape -- let alone the latest fashions or electronic
toys, the biggest boat or SUV -- will erase our fears. On the
contrary, they only seem to convince us that someone, somewhere is
scheming to take what we have.
Despite that, we insist on turning to security measures and
rampant consumerism to calm us. But, like the person in the popular
song who is "looking for love in all the wrong places," we are
seeking peace in the wrong places, in the wrong ways.
Throughout his earthly life, Jesus told his followers, "Do not
be afraid." To that, the Risen Lord on Easter added, "Peace be with
you." His is the peace we seek. All we need do is embrace it.