I have a number of people who I highly respect who serve or have served in the military. I believe there is an important role for the military. But I also believe we need to look towards military spending, which has almost doubled in the last decade, as we look for ways to reduce the deficit. And yet I’ve also realized just how important it is that we continue to act militarily in countries with rich oil reserves such as Libya.
This may seem a contidiction and in truth it is. But as long as I and those around me continue to live in a way that is unsustainable we must continue to take all steps possible, including military actions, to keep the cost of fuel low. There are too many who live on the margins who will be pushed over the edge towards chronic hunger and homelessness if gas prices and heating costs skyrocket. There are too many programs aimed towards supporting those in critical need that would be cut because of the inflation that would come.
So what does it take to not only say we stand for peace but to act on that statement. The Amish are a solid example of not just speaking but also acting for peace. They live a life that is not dependent on foreign oil. I’m not planning to become Amish, but I can think of actions I can follow. Gardening, canning, buying local, carpooling, biking, reducing travel by planning outings are all good starts.
Considering whether anyone globally could do what I’m doing at any given moment if they had an interest would be a good way to judge if I’m living sustainably. If I am not then I am living sinfully as I participate in an unjust lifestyle that leads to yet more violence. Thank God for the grace that was brought through Jesus. But that is not an excuse to continue living in sin. Lord help me to live the life of a peacemaker, not just the words.