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“Weather the storm.” How many of us have heard this cliché and now find ourselves having to do just that … weather the storm, anxiously waiting for it to pass. How we each embrace this unimaginable time in human history is on display daily? We are witnesses most poignantly to the vicissitudes of human nature -courage, fear, strength, instability - endless examples of human response to what is unknown. As we continue to deal with the disruption the events of late have brought, I ask you this morning to take a moment in all this to observe nature.
Each day the ground around us is sprouting, the tips of daffodils, the buds of leaves, the sprouts from vegetable seeds. Watch, as over the next few weeks, nature opens up to the world soaked in the sun, drenched in the rain, revealing petals regardless of what is to come. Nature is demonstrating the bounty of opening up despite events. As time passes, we will witness continual change in the landscape of nature. All a result of daring to open to what might happen.
We each face times in our lives when what step to take next is more uncertain than we would like. When life seems unsolvable, those around us offer suggestions that appear too risky as we search for a way of moving forward. So, we remain stuck, closed.
All closed in on yourself, what can you see? Two things - Yourself and darkness. The more you close in, the darker it gets, the smaller you get. Do you notice buds that remain tight, their colors, their potential barely showing? Over time if they continue to remain small, they fall to the ground, all their potential lost. Possible ways forward, opportunities showing themselves, are only possible when you look out and dare to remain open.
So, you have read this far. Thank you. I hope you can see how opening up is a key characteristic of hope. It lets in the light of thought and observation that give you a vista of possibilities that make taking a chance of value … for you.
There are moments in life when all that defines your world, your life is thrown into question. Answers and clarity scatter to the winds. Your spouse has a severe accident. You lose your job unexpectedly. You have a crisis of conscious that paralyzes. In all cases your first question is “What do I do?”
It’s not about how to struggle through … or finding the strength to stay in place … or praying that a single “branch” holding you will not break.
If you take a moment you will notice Hope is with you; notice that what to do is to seek stability with Hope and hear her words “hang on.”
In the wide empty spaces of unknowing, here is where Hope resides. In that place seemingly devoid of anything, Hope waits patiently for you to notice, then pats the seat next to her and suggests, “Sit down. Let’s take a moment. Gather your thoughts. And most of all know, ‘All will be well’.”
Before you’ve even absorbed Hope’s words, your thoughts begin running in all directions desperately seeking something to hold on to. Some stability in the turmoil you have just entered. Something that will save you. You want, need, to hold on to something.
Hope is about trusting … trusting in yourself … trusting in your higher power, whatever that might be … trusting in the process of life … which begins with hanging on and a suggestion of repose. “Wait a minute. Let’s figure out where we are. Sit for a moment and collect yourself.”
It could mean standing tight. Then again it may mean going wit the flow. It can also mean … letting go. Hope will help you, support you, until the questions have answers. The clarity returns. Hanging on is how the journey is traversed.
This is a time in human history when our horizon is more out of focus than usual. And the path we walk has lost any clarity. And last, our ability to chart our course seems impossible. How can you? How do you persevere? … With HOPE.
Let this sink in, and over the weeks, and probably months ahead, come back on Saturday morning as I share thoughts on the significance of HOPE, always and most definitely, TODAY