Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Peace and Justice

Traffic was moving slowly.  It gave me plenty of time to stare at the bumper sticker for several minutes.


I let my thoughts wander about the words peace and justice as I continued to creep forward in the traffic. 

Eventually I made it to the stoplight in the left lane of the two-lane road.  The light turned yellow just as I was approaching the intersection so I stopped.  The car next to me sped up and went through the intersection as did the car behind it.  The second car definitely went through a red light. 

Still musing on peace and justice I sat waiting for the light to turn green.  When it did, I cautiously moved forward only to have one, and then two, three and then a fourth car making left turns pull right in front of me.  The first and second cars got through the red light quickly but cars three and four caused me to have to slow down.  Something came over me.  I thought of that bumper sticker and the word justice

Suddenly I wanted justice for their wrongdoing.  I decided to not slow down.  Car three barely got in front of me and I was not going to let car four sneak in.  I kept going.  Car four was going to get stuck in a traffic jam and I was going to get justice. 

But no...the woman in car four gave me the finger and continued moving forward and almost hit me.  Now my blood was boiling.  I blared my car horn, shook my head at her in disbelief as she stared at me (giving me the finger).  I let her pull in front of me and I yelled at her.  Oh, I yelled loudly in my car.

Car four pulled into the right lane and was stopped in traffic.  My lane continued moving ahead and it didn't take long for me to catch up with the Car-With-The-Bumper-Sticker.


There it was again.  And this time, I felt sick looking at it.  Because I had just sought justice and I certainly was not feeling peace.  I had tried making someone "pay" for going through a red light and my actions were not peaceful. 

My peace didn't come until I confessed, out loud, to God what I had done.  Justice belongs to God and not me.  After I asked God to forgive me, right there in my car, peace flooded in. 

What if we all started living with justice as our goal.  Oh icky, what would this world look like?  I am still so embarrassed at my actions and how I allowed myself to get sucked into mentality.  How about you?  Are you living with this need for justice in your heart?  I'd challenge you to really examine your life and see if you truly are peaceful.  I just don't believe that self-seeking justice can and will bring peace.  Let me know your thoughts on this.

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