When I was young, I was constantly looking forward, keeping my sights set on a dream future. Now, I am constantly looking at what I left behind, second guessing the decisions made, and worrying about what happens next. In hindsight, I wonder when, if ever, was the last time I was content to live in the moment, embracing the struggles and successes of the moment.
I can only begin to understand the depth of the joy that Zechariah foretold of the incarnate Word entering our world “to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.”
My challenge to myself and to you is to ask: How can I be present for someone today? This is not just about acts of service or help. It’s taking time to listen, to empathize, to grieve alongside others.
Prayer is an incubator that provides the spiritual conditions to grow religious passion. Furthermore, prayer reminds us that the Divine presence is near even when our circumstances suggest God is far away.
I must confess, I haven’t really sorted through all of my feelings, but in these early days of the new administration, I would urge Christians in America to maintain a pragmatic optimism while taking great care to preserve a prophetic presence in the social order.
The difficulty of discerning truth and the humility in that discernment do not negate the responsibility to look out for what is dangerous and harmful.