I am wrestling with wicked problems. While definitions may differ, for me wicked problems are defined as problems that continuously escape the grasp of a viable solution. This state can occur when there is a lack of alternatives. It can also emerge when every choice is hurts someone or as choices give birth to new problems.
I do not think my situation is any different from the person next door, if fact I may have it easy. I see others struggling with conundrums, many seemingly wanting to give up. I am sure they would except the alternative is even worse! In the interim, enduring seems to be the only option.
As I look at some who have pushed on through, I find that three useful mantras to remember as the sun struggles to break through the dull clouds on the horizon.
Good is always at work, even if it is on another’s patch. As dark as it can be in your life or mine, compassion, community, and caring are actively working somewhere. Holding onto the thought that any of them have gone on holiday is one of Evil’s tools. As challenging as life can be, bringing compassion to the presenting, embracing community, and giving a helping hand to caring will open a window to good.
Help and hope are closer than we think. In my darkest hours I lose sight of others willing to help, only to discover their embrace when I need it most. The repeated surprise reminds me of Divinity’s commitment to engage in your life and mine.
Life is greater than either of us. We are part of a bigger story with God at the center. While God will always hear our laments, as I look away from myself I am energized and hope-filled when I celebrate Good. Old advice still stands; “Loud cheers as God climbs the mountain, a ram’s horn blast at the summit.” (Psalm 47.5) As I look, cheers, and reflect, the framework of my vision changes.
Wicked problems may seem impossible. They do not need to stay that way.