If I were to try to characterize the past twenty-four hours, it would be one of two extremes. On one hand, the conversations locally have been filled with opportunities. On multiple levels, there are changes that could be made to improve what is already good. The combination of great conversations, openness, and candor gives birth to hope. The experience of good coffee, wonderful chefs, and families reminds me of the creative wonder found in every generation. Anything is possible if one is willing to reach.
Mixed into the potential are the body blows of hijacked projects, overwhelmed individuals, and conflicting priorities. Each on its own would be an interesting challenge. When combined, they represent an evil army that tears at the life force sustaining every individual. I sit bruised and winded. I know I hold hope within, however right now it seems illusive.
Part of me wants to concede the ground won. We have made good progress. It seems almost too simple. It is hard to believe that the mountains already climbed seemed as difficult as the ones in front of me.
In this context, there are two actions that I know make sense.
First, acknowledge the magnitude of the challenge. There is no point in making it any smaller than it is. My body feels the ache already. My soul is daunted by what I know. My energy is on reserve.
Second, embrace the Hope that continues to sustain me. I see Compassion alive and well in the actions of those around me. I can feel Mercy’s touch in how others respond. I know there is support available. Even as I listen to a friend’s reminder, I find myself echoing Agrippa’s “answer: ‘Keep this up much longer and you’ll make a Christian out of me!’” (Acts 26.28) God is alive, in this form and in others.
Whatever has and is happening need not dictate how I exercise my freedom. In every circumstance, I can reach for something better. In adversity and uncertainty, I can be part of a solution. The options are ours for action.