we're not making any progress.

bumper stickers fascinate me. i don't like tailgating people (or being tailgated, for that matter), but if you have colorful and pithy phrases affixed to the back of your car, i'm probably going to be closer than comfortable just for the sake of my own curiosity.

yesterday, while driving to work, i was delighted to spot an unfamiliar sticker on the bumper in front of me. as we approached the stoplight, i got up close enough to read:

when the power of love
overcomes the love of power
the world will know peace.

as i pulled up next to the sticker's owner, i wondered ...

...does he really believe that is possible?

i wanted to roll down my window and ask him, "so, do you think that some day the power of love really will overcome the love of power? do you think that we as humans are capable of reaching that point? do you think that you can do it individually? but what about everyone else? will there ever be a day when every human on the planet individually overcomes their own selfish desires, willfully and completely?"

see, i'm not a skeptic or a pessimist. but i am a realist. and the reality is, we're only getting worse. if true world peace were possible for us to achieve on our own, i think it would've happened before today. the population of the earth is only increasing, there are only more people and wars and genocides and altercations and standoffs and enslavements and abuses and evils to be reconciled.

we're not making any progress.

people have been trying for hundrends, maybe even thousands of years to make the world play nice and get along.


hmm. i wonder .... i wonder if there is a reason why.

perhaps it is because the only hope we have is not found within ourselves. perhaps it is because peace itself is a miracle, a divine work of Providence. perhaps it is because if i could fix it myself, i wouldn't know my own brokenness.

we can't do this alone.
we can't even do this together.
we can't afford to keep wasting our time trying and failing.

my flesh and my heart may fail,
but You are the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.
for, behold, those who are far from You will perish,

You have destroyed all those who are unfaithful to You.
but as for me, the nearness of God is my good.
i have made the Lord God my refuge.

it may be pithy, and a little less 'inspirational,' but there's another bumper sticker that speaks a better word, a truer hope:

no Jesus, no peace.
know Jesus, know peace.

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