The storm raged without mercy. In contrast the hot tropical sun where nothing much moves, inside it was dark, cold, and chaotic. Accusations flew from every direction. On one hand, the individuals responsible said everything was fine. Glowing reports, words of assurance, told those looking in from the outside that it was time to celebrate. Inside, it was a very different experience. The overwhelming number and shape of the obstacles was deadly. Candidly, the “wind and waves were battering us unmercifully, and we lost all hope of rescue.” (Acts 27.20) Anyone’s sense of direction had been left behind hours, if not days, ago. Few acted with hope. Even fewer were walking with a sense of purpose. Our efforts were likely futile, yet they were gestures that we felt had to be made.
I write these words with a sense of history. It is hard to capture how difficult certain moments in life are. The moment of when one discovers that one has an incurable disease. The instant when someone tells you of another’s death. Even the awareness that everything is not right in one’s life can strike one’s heart without mercy.
With a perspective that only comes with age, I remind myself that the life is never about the destination. I am where I am. We are where we are. Dead or alive, capable or hurting, the question is not why but what. What will I do with the moment I have?
I note this question with the realization of how painful and unfair life often is. We are separated from those we love. We are battered, victims of life’s merciless actions. We are overwhelmed.
We are where we are. The present is what we have. While we can learn from our path that preceded this moment, the path is not what defines us. We are defined by how we respond. My words are not intended to be a lecture, dictating anyone’s actions. They are a gentle reminder to my soul that I hold an opportunity. I can be the difference. I can reach for hope.