I sat on the deck overlooking the lake this morning and sipped my coffee, feeling the sixty degree breeze on February 27, 2011.
This is one of the things I love about living in the South. Spring comes early, which means that hope is just around the corner.
Yes, we’ll probably have a couple more “cold snaps” but they will soon give way to the buds and the flowers and the green that paints the landscape all around the lake.
Spring causes the winter of life to fade, literally and figuratively.
Hope is vital to our lives.
What gives you hope?
Is it a friend who cares for you when you thought you were all alone?
And how do you give hope to others? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
Just when all seems lost, hope saves the day.
Thank God for hope.
One of the most meaningful writers I read these days for my spiritual journey is Richard Rohr.
His concise, thoughtful words come from books or articles he has written in a daily email, and can usually be read in 3 minutes or less. As I walk on my own spiritual path, I find his humility and insistence that God’s love is offered to the entire human family refreshing.
Here is today’s food for thought from Richard (bold print is mine for emphasis):
The mystery of Christ, and Christ consciousness (Romans 12:2, 1 Corinthians 2:16, Ephesians 4:23) is much bigger than Christianity. Jesus, it seems to me, did not come to earth to create a unique country club or a tribe of people who could say, “We’ve got it and you don’t!”
Jesus came to reveal something that is always true everywhere and for everybody. This is shown in his consistent inclusivity toward all. Jesus is entirely accepting toward Gentiles, foreigners, sinners by many definitions, those considered ritually unclean, Roman centurions, Samaritans, and outsiders like the Syro-Phoenician woman. In fact, the only people Jesus does block are those who try to block others (see, for example, Luke 18:9-14).
Many humble people show the fruits and blessings of God-encounter better than those of us who think we have the right words about God-encounter. We’ve confused having the “right” words, or belonging to the “right” group, with having the actual experience. Just because you think you have the right words for the Mystery does not mean you’ve experienced the Mystery at all. In fact, any illusion of perfect words destroys the very notion of mystery. It makes us proud and not humble.
God help me to be a radical example of your love to all people. Forgive me when I withhold it from others.
(You can get Richard Rohr’s daily meditations in your inbox by signing up here).
When I was growing up in Alabama, my first love was football and I played the game from the first grade (1960) through college (1976). I always wanted to be like one of my favorite players.
I went to every home football game at Lanier High School in Montgomery when my next door neighbor, Jimmy Lowder, was an All-American running back. I wanted to be Jimmy Lowder.
I memorized the jersey number and hometown of every player on the University of Alabama roster during the 60’s. I even spray-painted my football shoes white in the 70’s in high school so that I could look like Joe Namath who went on to play for the Jets.
I wanted to throw a football like Heisman trophy winner Pat Sullivan at Auburn University or catch the ball over my shoulder like Terry Beasley.
I thought Bart Starr (born in Montgomery, played at Lanier and at The University of Alabama) was the greatest player ever when he led the Green Bay Packers to several NFL Championships. I wanted to be Bart Starr. I wasn’t alone. A good friend of mine, Drexel Rayford, even wrote a song about wanting to be Bart Starr (you can hear a clip here or buy the song on iTunes by searching for Bart Starr).
The bottom line is I always wanted to be someone else. Who did you want to be when you were growing up?
Now that I’m 55, I know better most of the time.
Today, I just want to be Malcolm Marler. I want to be who God created me to be. Truth be told, that is all I can be.
Be the child of God you are, and offer your unique gifts to the world through your personality.
We need YOU to be you.
And when you are who you are, that is more than enough.