I am on the liturgy committee at St. Barnabas, and we are in the midst of preparing the weekly Advent reflections on the theme of “Hope has not been canceled.” Considering all the things that have been canceled or altered, this is certainly a thought-provoking theme for Advent and for these present days as we wonder if and when things will change and return to what we have come to remember as “normal”.
As I think of the word and concept of hope, I have come to realize that hope implies an acceptance of the fact that I am not in control as much as I think I am or as much as I would want to be. This is in stark contrast to the self-sufficient, independent, and even entitled self-concepts that we see all around us.
If I am honest with myself, I have to admit that, in reality, all that I have control over is how I respond to what is going on around me. Not necessarily an easy thing to do, is it?
Throughout this pandemic time, I have had the opportunity quite frequently to recall a challenge that a wise spiritual director presented to me over thirty years ago. After listening to me for quite a bit, she looked up at me and said, “If God seems far away, who moved?” In the years since that meeting, her words have come back to me countless times.
When my emotions get the best of me and my ego rages against all that is going on these days, I have come to realize and feel that this is when I am far away from God. When I make the effort to reconnect with God in a meaningful way, my sense of hope is revived, and I know that as much as I am not in control and as much as I don’t like what is going on, that with God I will be better able to navigate these days and, in time, arrive at the world that we long for and hope for.
This Monday Minute is from Brother Hank Hammer, currently listening to “Praise You in This Storm” by Casting Crowns. Listen in at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YUGwUgBvTU