It’s strange the way a story grows, the twists and turns it takes. It’s interesting to read and incredible to hear. Living the story is sometimes another matter. In my story, I’ve often wanted to skim the present, skipping to the end of a scene, the resolution of a problem, or the closure of a conflict. Yet when I look back at my story, each part of life that I wanted to skip was as full of joy as it was of sorrow, and each chapter of joy contained sorrow. It almost seems that one cannot exist without growing the other.
And while my story has had its difficult questions, harder still are the questions that arise in my boys’ stories, harder to wait while they resolve their conflicts and harder to stand by while they make choices. And my friends stories, while unique, are also similar. We laugh and we cry, we hurry and we linger. We worry and we trust.
I look back and think how sensible faith would have been or was. Yet in the moment, faith is hard. It’s always hard. Not because I don’t believe God has this situation, but because I’d like to control it. I’d like to call it before it happens and understand the outcome for better planning. So, I often choose to fret.
Hope is another choice that is an obviously good option. Yet despair knocks on the door of my mind. Fear of the future seeps in and I forget that I know the end of the story. The end is good. Perfect, actually. And in this moment, for this situation, I can choose hope.
And the greatest of these is love, the easiest option to let go when things get tough. I want to hole up in my problems and misery, but truth says that love is a better choice. Instead of looking out only for myself, I can look out for other people also. I can choose to reach out instead of wishing other people would make more effort. I can choose to act kindly and humbly.
Faith, hope, love. They all ask me to take a longer view of the pain and the tears, to read the story as though I already know the ending. I do, after all.