Sunday, January 25, 2009

War, Peace, Nonviolence... Idealism?

I don’t know much about world issues myself, and to be brutally honest, I’m very much swayed by the idealism of faith in any event... to think that this world, through its holistically-focused visionary leaders, might one day realise its potential...

Having just read a ‘very challenging’ post by a pre-eminent on Facebook regarding the heights of hope on the very essence of peace a.k.a. real nonviolence, my heart buzzes with the possibilities. What if no AIDS; what if no famines; what if no wars. What if... love?

Having sat through a beautiful presentation recently on the life of J.R.R. Tolkien, Master of the Rings, a quote on war captivated me. One of the people interviewed remarked how, having served with the British army during the tragic Battle of the Somme, and seen all but one of his friends die, Tolkien was left to lament the ‘great deal of pointless enthusiasm’ with which wars are fought, which are coincidentally ‘followed by a great deal of pointless misery, followed by a [largely] pointless aftermath.’[1]

This thought followed another equally telling piqué of contemplation. Charlie Wilson’s War (2007), based on a 2003 book by George Crile, highlighted the stickiness of getting involved in others’ wars--the consequences of action such as this, even if thought good initially, are often far-reaching and dreadful.

Is what we hope for regarding large-scale (Global) fixes even possible? An end to AIDS? A halving of starving by 2015? An end to all wars?

‘War... what is it good for... absolutely nothing.’ This line from Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s, War, could adequately spell out what it is we’re dreaming about and trying to say. ‘The point of war blows your mind’ indeed.

For broken dreams to be sorted it takes a miraculous form of action based in a visionary philosophy for the future; a combined, collective, collaborative and cohesive future.

In seeking the miraculous we could do worse than hear the LORD God’s words afresh when responding to king Solomon, “If My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves, pray, seek, crave, and require of necessity My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.”
–2 Chronicles 7:14 (Amplified version).

God... Not ‘OMG’! God... The LORD. Could it possibly be about God?

It’s got to be about God. Could it be about giving up being the ones with the answers, and looking to him? Could it be that radical obedience might mean we will give up our rights to our prejudices... our judgments... our selfish desires... even our comforts?

Could this way of radical nonviolence, in the tradition of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther king, and in complete submission to God, be the way to realise these idealistic dreams?

[1] Cromwell Productions, J.R.R. Tolkien, Master of the Rings: The Definitive Guide to the World of the Rings (DVD presentation, Rajon Vision RV0102, 2001)

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