Today’s Readings: Isaiah 42:10-18; Hebrews 10:32-39; Psalm 80:1-7
The past 14 months have been incredibly challenging months for many of us in the United States. We have seen economic challenges greater than any modern time since the Great Depression. Many of us have lost our jobs, our homes, and our pensions. In fact, the times have been so hard that some would say it would be impossible to find any silver linings amongst the clouds. Leave it to an eternal optimist like myself, however, to do just that.
So what’s the silver lining?
I can’t speak for others, but for me the economic collapse of our country helped me re-discover what is most important in my life. I no longer had the luxury of treating “wants” as “needs”. I had to carefully examine my life and develop a discerning spirit that helped me see the difference between my “wants” and my “needs”. That was a powerfully important learning for me from the experience.
I’d like to think my insight was clever – but truth be told it’s been around for at least two millennia.
And how do I know that?
Well, the author of today’s passage from Hebrews made a similar point. “You sympathized with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property,” the author wrote, “because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions” (Hebrew 10:34 from The New International Version). Those hardships faced by his audience are exactly the sort of thing that helped them gain a sense of perspective as well.
If you are wrestling with a challenging situation, I would invite you to think about the possibility that there might – I repeat MIGHT – be at least one valuable learning buried within that hardship. If you have the courage to search for it, you too might get a new sense of perspective about the things that matter most.
Til next time…