Noise & Peace

Finally, brothers (and sisters), whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is  anything worthy of praise, think about these things.  What you have learned about and received and heard and seen in me, do; and the God of peace will be with you.   Phillippians 4:8-9

What things do you think about when your mind is free to wander?  There are many, many different voices competing for our attention every day – whether asking us to think about things to buy, athletic teams to get excited about (and buy tickets, apparel or other things), threats to our health and wellbeing, or to our American way of life, TV shows or movies to watch, the latest gossip, or political positions to support.  And much of the language that is used by these voices is at best mean-spirited, if not downright raunchy sometimes. Notice how the volume on TV commercials is higher than that of the shows they sponsor?  They are doing whatever they can to grab our attention.

Even when I try to do something “useful” and tune in to the news or public affairs programming, most of the news is about partisan fighting or gridlock in Washington.  It is hard to focus on what is true, honorable, just, pure, gracious and excellent, although a lot pretends to be.  Everyone says we need to find our way back to civil, constructive dialogue about our differences, but very few achieve it.

Against that backdrop, I was very pleased this morning to click on a Facebook link that highlights a good model of behaving the way Paul was encouraging the Phillippians to act.  The subject of gay rights and marriage equality has generated a tremendous amount of vitriol and noise from advocates on both sides of the issue. And yet, quietly, over the past 6 months or so, two major antagonists in this debate, Shane Windmeyer, the Director of Campus Pride, a GLBT advocacy organization, and Dan Cathy, the President of Chick-Fil-A, (a very public funder of anti-gay organizations) have gotten to become friends by listening respectfully to each other.  I invite you to read their story on Huffington Post:

This is an example that gives me hope that we do not need to give up on doing even difficult things in an honorable, just and gracious way.  I commend their example to you and encourage you to take a few minutes to read about them and reflect on how we might follow their example in all of our relationships.

Dear Lord, There is so much noise in the world.  Help us to think on things that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely and gracious, and to use those values in the way we conduct ourselves, even with those with whom we may differ. Thank you for delivering on your promise to give us peace when we do these things.   AMEN

Dave Erickson Pearson

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