Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. Matthew 5:9 (NIV)
Like a magnet attracts metal, some days, I am a lure for turmoil. Whether I seek it or it seeks me, I do not know, but when I am yelled at twice before 8:00 in the morning, I know it is going to be one of those days. Some of my staff changed offices and a team of inmates from the local jail came to help. When I said how glad I was that they had come, their supervisor curtly told me not to get excited they had other work to do before they could help us. They left their truck blocking some parking spots and disappeared. A woman assigned to one of them began screaming at me because she could not get to her space. I explained that I was not at fault; she did not listen and yelled louder. I tried to respond patiently and calmly, but it was very hard to do. She refused to give me time to talk and only made demands. As the day wore on, my patience grew thinner and thinner. Though the move had been in the works for weeks, last minute details like taking down bulletin boards and dismantling desks slowed us down. Only two loads of furniture were moved before lunch. Then, there was time for only one more trip to the new office before they had to return to jail. The crew left a large table in the lobby of the new office building. The landlord called upset at the disruption and mess. Through it all, I had been back and forth to my own office where troubles also waited. Problems with a new cleaning crew. Quarrels over a mailing. Someone needed stationary right away, but the purchasing staff was busy with a task I had given them. Conflict was everywhere I turned. The final straw came over a disagreement regarding the placement of photocopiers and office furniture. By that time, I was hot, tired and contrary. I decided how it was going to be. Unfortunately, so did someone else. We verbally sparred for control. I was on the verge of forcing my preference when another employee came up with a solution that neither of us had seen because we were so intent on having our way. It was a perfect fit. She is always a peacemaker and able to come up with compromises that help everyone to win. Every office, home and neighborhood needs a peacemaker. Someone who can stand back and put their own desires aside to see what it best for the whole group. Someone who can maintain their cool even when the tension runs high. Someone who untangles the knots of emotions and conflicts. Peacemakers stand out in a world full of angry and demanding people. For that reason, they are called children of God and serve as examples of how He wants us to life our lives. Which are you known as? An angry lover of turmoil or a peacemaking child of God?