“If peace comes from seeing things whole, then misery stems from a loss of perspective.” — Mark Nepo
“Like a true nature’s child, we were born, born to be wild” — Mars Bonfire
One of my favorite writers and poets, Mark Nepo, writes that we begin life so aware and grateful. The sun is hanging in the sky. The colors of our world are changing brilliantly before us — hues of red and orange and yellow. The air is crisp and birds are singing. The miracle of life seems to just happen all around us.
And then we’re walking about the house and we stub our little toe, and all of life is reduced to that moment of pain, to our little toe. Maybe it becomes difficult to walk for a few days, and with every step, we can only think about the pain.
Hope is really about the filter through which we define our day, the narrowness or wideness of perspective we choose to use as our lens — the sharp tinge of pain as we walk on that bruised toe, or the miracle of life still happening around us.
When we narrow our focus to longing for one outcome to our problems, to seeing life only through the lens of our problems, or even to expecting certain outcomes for the events of our lives, we lose all perspective on the largeness of God and the breadth of love at the very ground of our being.
A favorite text we read this time of year, Isaiah 43: 18-20, This is what the lord says — the one who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, says this, ‘Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. Look, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not see it? I am making a way through the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.’”
Hope is a kind of intentional perspective — not that everything turns out the way we want it to, but maybe more importantly that things make sense, regardless of how it turns out. And perhaps even more encouraging, that we come to see the miracle of life and this holy grace we live in the midst of as an invitation to take part in how it makes sense. If only to stop a moment and remember the sun is still shining behind the clouds, love still defines our finest moments, children are still looking under rocks and leaves, birds are still singing, seeds are lying quietly beneath the surface, awaiting spring, and people all around us are wishing the best for us, praying for us, even looking forward to seeing us soon.
This Sunday, December 9, in eleven:eleven, Downtown, we explore the wild side of hope — what we are born to be. The coming of the Christ child, if it says anything at all, surely says that we are born into the world to be our truest, deepest, most authentic selves in compassionate connection with one another, God and all of life. It’s really a wild hope and an exciting adventure, isn’t it?
Sunday, Dec 9 “Hope is ‘Born to Be Wild’”
featuring actor Jakie Cabe, Tom McDermott on ukulele,
and the eleven:eleven band, with carols and stories
and the music of Sting, Drew Holcomb,
and Steppenwolf like you’ve never heard it before!
Hope to see you Sunday!
Associate Pastor of eleven:eleven