As I talk to friends in New York, Singapore, London, and points in between, there is a broad consensus that each is living in the midst of a depressive funk. I am not quite sure how I would define the word funk, but if feels like an accurate description. It is not just one community, the context we find ourselves everywhere in the world shares themes of uncertainty, depression, and a tug to give up. Life has battered us in a way we did not anticipate or prepare for. Institutions we trusted have let us down. Our defenses, financial and emotional, are no longer what they were.
I am not sure how others are handling it. From our conversations, I suspect that it is a mixed bag. There are days where everything seems to work. Problems are not resolved yet we survive with a sense that things will get better. Offsetting these are dark nights for our hearts and minds, often stretching beyond the dawn. I can relate to these struggles because they are echoes that continue in my life. Life is not as it was. What I thought were absolutes, certainties, and givens last year at this time no longer make much sense. Nothing is certain.
It does help to know that there are others have been through times as tough, often tougher than this. When I look at the responses to those times, include how on “that night, even though shackled to two soldiers, one on either side, Peter slept like a baby.” (Acts 12.6b) I see God reminding us of the tenants we can hold onto.
Bad stuff happens. Regardless of who we are, where we sit, what we do, life’s ugly side may touch us. It is not particularly personal, though it does tend to feel like it.
We have the freedom to choose our response to life. Regardless of what happens, nothing can take freedom away. We choose. We have the power. We determine.
In the context of being a child of God, holding freedom, life looks good. We have Hope.