The Delightful Way

Peace and Prudence
September 3, 2006, 10:50 pm
Filed under: Warrior

I’ve been thinking much lately about the paradox posed to those responsible
for protecting and defending others.
On the one hand, we see the need to prepare for the future. The prudent man,
Proverbs says, sees the danger ahead and hides himself. The ant stores up
food for the winter. This is prudence.
On the other hand, we must trust God completely. Dietrich Bonhoeffer
emphasized this in a speech during the 1930’s. After relating several
horrendous actions on the part of the Nazi’s, he asked:
“What is the church’s response to these events? I direct you to Psalm 85:8, I
will hear what God the Lord will speak, for he will speak peace unto his
people and to his saints. How does this peace come about? Is it through
machinations of men or their politics or their economics? Perhaps it comes
from power, from rearmament. No; man-made efforts towards peace brings about
the temporary feeling of safety and security, but not real peace. That’s
because we often confuse peace with safety. They are not the same. Peace is a
great venture, it’s a dare to trust God completely. Peace requires us to give
up our illusions of safety and security, our schemes and plans, in order to
rely upon Almighty God alone. Will there still be battles? Yes! But battles
are won not with weapons but with God! They are won where the way leads to
the cross. So ho will peace come? Will it come through individual Christians
who long for it? No. Single voices are easily snuffed out by those who oppose
peace. Only through the Holy and United Church of Christ can the word peace
be spoken. We can do it, today! We can send out a call to peace. But the hour
is late. So why are we waiting? What are we waiting for? How can we wait,
when the world waits for us?”
Powerful words. Although Bonhoeffer’s theology was problematic, I can’t help
but affirm that what he says jives with what I’ve been thinking regarding
trusting God. But it is difficult to swallow the idea of total reliance on
So the question remains: How can I wisely prepare for the future, and yet, at
the same time, rely completely upon God?


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