By Terry Brown of Pigeon, MI, USA
As he came near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, “If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. —Luke 19:41–42 NRSV
My wife Carol is the director of special education overseeing federal, state, and local mandates in each of the area’s local school districts. Yesterday after she got home, she received an e-mail with the subject line “URGENT.” She hesitated before opening it. I heard her mumble, “What now?”
I guess almost all of us have experienced that feeling. We get a letter in the mail from an entity not known for bringing good news. Or perhaps we receive a phone call late at night.
For me, it was when I was 13 years old, and the doorbell rang in the early morning hours. The police told my mother, me, and my three younger siblings that my father would not be returning home. A single-car accident killed him.
Sometimes the world changes instantaneously. Often the times we remember best are the unexpected and unwelcome turns of events.
We often fear change. Indeed, we often dread it and may try to avoid it. Should I open that envelope, pick up the phone, click on the e-mail, or answer the door?
The fundamental problem with trying to outguess the future is our focus on the past, on what has already occurred. We can blind ourselves to the infinite opportunities of the future. Focusing on the past limits our vision. It becomes static rather than expansive and energetic.
We are constantly receiving “URGENT” messages. That’s why God offers the gift of faith in Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
A radical new world waits just outside our view. With eyes of faith, we can see that Jesus stands knocking and waiting for us to open the door to a future with him.
Prayer for Peace
Holy One, cradle us in your loving arms. Calm our anxious souls with a song of joy. Fill us with engaging expectancy. Offer us the vision of a community of peace. Amen. —T.B.
Spiritual Practice: Making Responsible Choices
Prayerfully seek God’s guidance in your choices. The practice of discernment invites us to orient our lives toward God and God’s vision for us and creation. Begin by reviewing the responsibilities and opportunities for the day before you. Take these choices into prayer, asking God for wisdom and insight about what matters most.
Today, God, I will answer the door without fear.