We had a lovely spring day…..and then winter returned with a vengeance. Snow fell all night and most of the day. Easter plans began to fall apart. A dinner engagement I had really looked forward to got postponed. How, when things can look so promising, can they dissolve in a matter of hours?
I wonder if things falling apart, disappointments, even catastrophes, serve to remind us there is much we do not control. And I ponder whether that illusion of control contributes to a lack of empathy in our society. If I am master of my fate, captain of my ship, why are you floundering? Just take the wheel! Make something of yourself!
There is an ad for an insurance company that puts my teeth on edge every time I see it. The woman, her long blond tresses in bouncy curls, her makeup perfectly applied, her build slender and her clothes stylish, who is advertising her father’s company for whom she works, says: “You can be anything you want to be.” She probably really believes that because she has had advantages that she almost certainly assumes are available to everyone.
I have a heart murmur that wasn’t discovered until I was in junior high. Because other kids could run and play seemingly endlessly, I spent years thinking I was “defective.” I would tire long before they did. My confidence was impacted in myriad ways because I considered myself “less than” others. And that obstacle pales in comparison to children growing up in poverty, dysfunctional homes, abuse; others who have crippling physical or mental limitations. There are children who grow up to overcome their circumstances, but they are the exception rather than the rule. Their chances of living up to their potential, of “being anything they want to be,” are slim at best.
If you have had a “sprinter” experience lately—you were going along just fine and encountered obstacles you didn’t expect and weren’t prepared for—be reminded that the one reliable control we have is of our attitude. “I find that it is not our circumstances but the spirit in which we meet them that constitutes our comfort,” is a quote I have often relied on.
May we be bearers of hope, the “wait staff” of Hope’s Café for each other and all those we encounter. Shalom, Kate
Hope’s Café Bonus: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference. OR alternatively: God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change; courage to change the people I can; and the wisdom to know that person is ME!