There is a natural tendency to hope or believe that everything is will, at some point, naturally get better. “If only” is a common theme that comes through as a mild accusation about behavior, personality, or a combination of unusual circumstances. If only you or I approach things differently or could somehow overlook everything that constitutes relationship. If only you or I had a different way of interacting with people or a different temperament, style, attitude. If only fate had not taken over and life become what it is.
Things may not get better. Life may be in a cycle of violence, pain, and self centric behaviors that can only lead to even more of what was yesterday. I know this sounds rather pessimistic yet I don’t believe that seeing life through na?ve glasses is a better way to go! Life is difficult. Situations are painful and even deadly. Relationships can be unfair or even destructive. Even when you think everything is at its maximum there is a “second Angel [that] poured his bowl [of destruction] on the sea.” (Revelation 16.3)
The one question that hasn’t been posed or answered is this; how will you respond? What will you or I do in the middle of a violent, painful, and unfair life? Will we add to the pain or respond with something that will reach out and lift others out of the mess? Are we willing to be part of a radical solution? Will we persevere even when everyone and everything is against us? Will processes and motives founded in love, mercy, and compassion drive who and what we are?
There is a sequence that remains unchanged. Life hits, reality bites. Life rests in a decision point of response. An action and choice changes or reinforces history. I find that in the movement from decision to action I define my self and the future. Life can seem hopeless, disasters relentless, but that doesn’t change the question on the table. How will we respond? What will we do? God can be part of our future and present.