For surely I know the plans I have for you,
plans for your welfare…to give you a future with hope.
I recently received a meditation entitled, “We Were Made for These Times." It was written in response to the chaotic times we are living in, by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, the author of Women Who Run With The Wolves, and is a timely message. I’ve already shared it with a few of you, but have decided that its message was appropriate for all and timely enough to be included here.
In the article, she encourages us, “Not to lose hope nor spend our spirits dry bewailing these difficult times,” because we were made for these times. For in times like these, we often dwell on what is wrong and often out of our reach. “Do not focus there,” we are told.
We are reminded regularly that we ask God for the help, clarity, understanding and grace we need. Estes challenges us to remember that to be in grace, means being willing to submit to the voice greater than our own. Paul told the church at Corinth that we could only see in part and Clarissa tells us, “We are needed and that is all we can and need to know." In addition, often we are told that a persistent series of many small things will have more impact than a single major effort or event, and that we might not ever know what specific thing will effect a change in the course of events.
Jesus’ charge to all of us was to remain patient, persistent and not to worry. In my mind, this is God’s charge to each of us, namely to maintain a calm presence in the midst of chaos. Estes shares that one of the most calming and powerful actions we can do is to stand up in chaos’ midst. For in times like this, to be assertive and show mercy toward others, especially those in need, are acts of bravery and necessity. And while we might often feel discouraged by the pace of our progress, we should not allow those feelings in, nor should they be invited to the table.
She ends her meditation with this thought…there should be no despair when we remember why we were placed on the earth, who we serve and who sent us here. The good words we say and the good deeds we do are not ours. They are the words and the deeds of the one who brought us here. In that Spirit, we should always remember that when a great ship is in the harbor and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But, that is not what great ships are built for.
Enjoy the journey and allow yourselves to be challenged.