Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled

by David G. Woolley

Talk show sensation Sean Hannity loves that line. Got too much debt? Let not your heart be troubled. No health insurance? Let not your heart be troubled. Lost your dog? Lost your job? Lost your home? Let not your heart be troubled.

I recently lost my mind. I'm a soccer coach. Not just your run-of-the-mill coach of a single team. I've got thirty. No one ever told me my CEO, CFO and Board of Directors would range between 8 and 18 years of age, have less than half my education and most of them unable to drive.

We finished our annual May tryouts last week which also marks the Utah Department of Wildlife Resource's start to the witch hunt. No permit required. Its open season. Thankfully you can't shoot the coach by email. I am perennially amazed by the emotions provoked by competitive sports. They call it poor sportsmanship. I call it indigestion by aggravated assault. Maybe its a primal thing that goes deeper than kicking a ball. Sean, have you got any advice for a troubled heart?

We have Winston Churchill to thank for the two finger victory flash. What an embarrassing paradox for peace activists. There's not a lot of conservative "peace through strength" ideology in liberal circles. Despite what you hear on CNN's coverage of the most recent war protest, peace is likely not a state of mind.

The great American victory of the past millennium wasn't peace. It was freedom purchased by the blood of not a few good men and women. Peace has proven more allusive than even the costly gifts of freedom. The balance of power enshrined in our constitution was informed, in part, by a belief that men and women are generally self-interested. When the self-interest of freedom lovers gets out of control, you can kiss your peace goodbye. Just ask some of my soccer parents.

The Book of Mormon describes 175 years of peaceful living among once warring peoples. It all began after the appearance of Christ in America. He taught them the peacable things of life. Love your neighbor. Do good to them who despitefully use you and persecute you. Turn the other cheek. It was ground-breaking, life-changing stuff. And when he left them they no longer needed layers of bureaucratic government. There were no kings, no judges, no lawyers. The only governing body over ethnically diverse and linguistically divergent kin groups spread across 400 miles of mountainous territories and coastal regions was a council of twelve holy men. What held it all that together? An untroubled heart. That's right. Sean Hannity is on to something.

According to the scriptural account the Holy Spirit was the glue responsible for enduring peace in typically war-ravaged ancient Mesoamerica. Apparently if you live by its influence there isn't much need for more government than twelve holy men managing a populous region the size of Texas.

"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." Christ said that and then he left the hearers under the influence of the holy spirit. Maybe Churchill was right. The most pervasive enduring peace the world has ever known followed a victory of the spirit over the heart.


Join author David G. Woolley at his Promised Land Website. He is also a weekly contributor to the Latter Day Authors blog and he writes commentary and opinion at the Utah Ranger's Far Post blog

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