Does Fear or HOPE Drive Your Journey?
“We don’t call each other names.” I reprimanded my son. This simple idea holds a high place in our family rules – second only to “do not hit your brother in any shape, form or fashion.”
My son looked at me for a moment and then asked a stunned question. “But what if it’s true?” He was frustrated at the moment, at his brother, and at the desire to give a response but not knowing what to give.
“You can tell me about the action, but you never call your brother a name.”
Many years ago, I watched history occur when a young senator took the stage and announced hope. I do not remember him calling others names. He kept pointing to hope and a nation responded to that call to hope.
Hope matters. Hope inspires. Hope can build possibilities that will never occur on their own.
I watched as people threw negatives at the hope. I was concerned about the follow through of the promises, but like with my own son I recognized that saying bad things and calling others names would not get me to a place of hope – EVER!
“Look for the positive.” I have taught my sons this simple practice since they were old enough to understand. I took time to look at the man behind the message and found some positives. I confess that over the years I have lost sight of the positives and been driven towards the negatives by their constant repetition.
“Invest more energy in prayer than anything else and prayer will make a difference in everything.” This is another simple practice that I have been trying to grow in my sons and in my own life. I confess that prayer has not always been my default setting. I know the power of prayer and I am working to turn first to that power and strength before anywhere else. “The fervent prayers of a righteous man availeth much.”
There is so much noise that it can be hard to hear hope sometimes. Hope does not yell at others. Hope does not call other names. Hope does not demand you listen. Hope whispers.
“Lower your voice if you want to be heard.” I shared with my son. When you lower your voice, people lean in to hear. Others will engage with the conversation. Others listen.
I found over the last few years that the biggest problem is that people – that great big mass of bodies often referred to as “THEY” – do not listen.
I do not engage in political fights. I have found that nobody wins a fight (or an argument for that matter). Instead, I look for the positive. I invest in prayer. And I lower my voice so that if others want to hear they can.
Recently, the noise became painful and a bit overwhelming. I stepped back and shook my head. “Is this real?” I asked the empty room.
And then I saw hope, trying to find a place to root. A voice in the community (in the wilderness) calling out for the following of those simple rules I had been trying to teach my sons and live out in my own life.
And then I saw love stepping forward. Where love dwells, fear will not tread.
I shared with someone in an earlier conversation – at a time when the noise felt like it would crush me – “my God holds the heart of Kings.” I meant that. I believe that a heart devoted to pursuing God first and foremost in all and then pouring out the results of the pursuit on others second – that heart will be held in protection and blessing by my God.
Reading the words of hope and love in this chaos and noise gave new life to that declaration. My prayer for the next few weeks is that all hearts will follow that simple plan – God first, others second – and allow that plan to drive the actions and directions.