War and peace

Published 8:57 pm Tuesday, January 7, 2020

By Nathan Rice

I woke up 10 minutes before my alarm was set to sound my wake-up call. I knew I should probably get an early start to my day, but my bed was warm, and the air outside still had a chill. I picked up my phone to glance at some sports scores and check the weather. I opened Twitter for a quick look as I began to climb out of my bed. I paused when I saw that World War Three was a trending topic, with WWIII following not too far behind. “I wasn’t asleep that long,” I thought to myself.

I punched a few buttons and found out that an American bomber had killed an Iranian general, and people had taken to Twitter to share their opinions on the bombing as well as to share their fears about a possible third world war.

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The talk about a potential war, perhaps even a world war, added to prior conversations that I had with several different people over the past few weeks. “You just can’t go anywhere anymore,” they said. “It’s just not safe!”

I thought of the people who had expressed their apprehension to me regarding events that seem to be happening on a more frequent basis all across our country, and I thought how this talk about a potential world war would only increase their fears.

I know there are a lot of frightening things happening in our country, and I understand the anxiety talks about war can create. The concerns people have expressed to me are legitimate, but I refuse to live in fear.

There are three things I consider when the events of the world attempt to keep me in fear.

First, I remain aware of my surroundings, and I am careful about where I go and when I go there. I know there is no way to predict where or when an evil act may occur, but I do know there are certain places I should avoid during certain times. Being wise about where you go, when you go, and remaining aware of the surroundings, is not fear. It is wisdom.

Next, I will do all I can to be a peacemaker in my part of the world. I know I have little, if any, influence on the events of the world. I cannot stop shootings that take place, and there’s not much I can do about the American-Iranian conflict. I can, however, work to bring peace to my workplace, my neighborhood, and my city. I refuse to engage in discussions at work that serve to bring nothing but chaos. I do not join in with others when crowds get restless in line or begin to create a scene at a store. Instead, I try to bring peace to these situations by speaking kindly and doing what I can to diffuse tense situations. I work with children in the community who have difficult home lives in the hopes that my influence will help them avoid common casualties faced by so many in their situation.

Lastly, and most importantly, is the knowledge that I am known and loved by the Prince of Peace. My peace is not based on external circumstances. It is based on the promises of my King, the Prince of Peace.

I know we’re in scary times, but I will not live a life of fear. Rather, I will be observant and wise, do what I can to bring peace where I can, and place my life in the hands of the Prince of Peace.


Nathan Rice is a Hampton Roads native and can be reached at nrice@abnb.org.