I’m going to start here by saying that I am expressing my opinions. You are free to agree or disagree. I respect that.
I’m kind of angry today, which is pretty unusual for me. I don’t ‘do’ angry much. Righteous indignation shows up from time to time. I sometimes get angry on behalf of others (the marginalized, abused, degraded, ignored – I tend to get pretty angry about those things).
But I don’t consider myself an angry person. At all. I process anger pretty effectively. It doesn’t take over.
Today I’m angry. I’m angry at a very specific message that we as a community of faith too often send. I know I have certainly been guilty of it.
For a variety of reasons (which I won’t go into at this time because I don’t choose to), I was dealing with something perilously close to despair today. That sounds so strange because despair is definitely something I don’t ‘do.’ Its just not part of me.
There I was, at despair’s doorstep. I prayed (that part is VERY like me, so I know I haven’t been replaced by a clone). I was in the car and had the radio on my favorite Christian station. I asked God for a message.
The next song made me mad. There was that message. ‘Sure, its all going to hell in a handbasket right now. Don’t worry though, because once you’re dead, Heaven will be awesome.’
Ok – I get it. I have taken courage from those very thoughts in the past. There is comfort there, in the reminder that our trials and tribulations here on earth will pale in comparison to the glory heaven holds.
Today, that’s not where I was. Its not where I’m at right now. I don’t need a promise of some day and I sure as heck don’t want to talk with a God who is super fine with my despair because he’s got that ‘forever’ thing covered.
I yelled at him in my head a bit. Swore some. As I’ve said before – God can take it. Its not like he doesn’t know its in my head anyways.
After a while I calmed down some. Enough to get some perspective. Enough to realize that the promise of what heaven holds is essential. I just needed a promise a bit closer to home today.
That’s the thing, God hasn’t just said ‘hey, do whatever while you’re alive, I’ve got you covered for later.’ He’s not that friend that constantly promises to by the ‘next round.’ He’s with us through all of it.
Hope ekes through. Just a little. That tiny ray of sunlight through the storm clouds. That reminder that God’s plan for our lives aren’t in the future. Its not a destination. His plan encompasses every day, every hour, every minute.
So, today I choose faith. I choose hope. I choose to remember that I will learn something from this despair. I choose to believe it is making me stronger. I choose for it to make me stronger.
I choose faith because I refuse to let despair win. And in this fight, it is my choice.
I choose hope because I believe tomorrow will be better. Even if tomorrow isn’t really tomorrow. I choose hope because I will not give in.
It occurs to me how faith and hope walk hand in hand. Without one, I would not have the courage to choose the other.
I’m going to let you in on one of my personal messages. I know many people use the ‘Serenity Prayer.’ It never touched a nerve for me. This is my version:
‘God grant me the vision to see Your path before me. Courage to take that path, and Faith to lead me forward when my Vision and Courage fail.’
Today, I choose faith, and anger loses its power.
Take care friends.