“It is one thing to view the land of peace from a wooded ridge; quite another to tread the road that leads there.” -St. Augustine [excerpt from Surprised By Joy by C.S. Lewis]
The bible gives us many examples of either a command, a charge, even a plea for the people of God to pursue peace. Or, if peace is not readily found, to make peace. In fact, we are to make peace when others won’t. Jesus calls this endeavor blessed—”blessed are the peacemakers,” he says (Mt 5).
Having said this, there are also a great many examples in the bible of persons who made peace their genuine goal and suffered mightily for it. A sobering contrast—the one who makes for peace typically receives very little of it, typically receives the constant nag of scrutiny, cynicism, mischaracterization, insult, and even certain abuses. Yet again, Jesus calls you blessed. That is way of the Christ, what some might describe as foolishness. “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows,” he says. “But take heart, for I have overcome the world” (Jn 16).
There is nothing foolish about the miracles of God experienced through those who make peace their true goal. The world may not receive it. The world may outright reject it. May even seek your harm in response. But they will not deceived. Peace is not that kind of offering that goes unnoticed. Much more shrewd are the preparations made by peace when all our faith and hope have soured—hints of forgiveness, acceptance, trust, compassion, and pure affection begin to turn up. As for when these turn up, time will tell. But first comes peace, either readily present or something born out of your own tremendous effort. “For the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make for peace” (Jm 3).