When Your Default Mode Is Despair

How do we live faithfully when our default mode is despair? Fires on one coast, one hurricane down, two bearing down on the other coast, floods in Bangladesh, and the threat of nuclear war on the Korean peninsula; what next? Our challenge is not to simply exist and react to one apocalyptic crisis after another. We are called to be people of faith, despite living in cones of perpetual uncertainty.

1) Remember the Beatitudes, the “Blessed are” statements. Blessed are those who are in the act of being merciful, pure in heart, and hungering for righteousness. Jesus blesses actions proactively.  Treat them as a “to live list” now, not a “to do” list after a storm.

2) “Existence living” thrives on worry. Worry feeds our fears. Jesus reminds us that worry doesn’t add time to our lives. Worry makes it easier to react to the world. Faith is not a reaction to the world; it’s a response to Christ’s call on our lives.

3) In one of the most important interactions of the New Testament, Jesus heals a man by saying, “Take your bed and go home.” The move from “existing” on a pallet to “living” faithfully is clear. On his pallet, he is reacting to crises. Walking, the man is faithfully living his life.

4) So, are you reacting or are you living?