Get bitter or better

In these strange times everything happens fast.

Suddenly we are stuck in the middle of spending lots of time at home, overwhelmed by the constant flow of information and rapid changes in the situation we´re all facing.

It is no secret that it may be hard to stay positive and motivated these days. Though we sit in the same boat, we have different aspects that we find challenging. When I´m stuck at home, due to for example a sick child, I start climbing the walls somewhere mid-day. I do not cope very well with sitting indoors for a long time. Now, that is on any normal day before this crisis hit us.

The story goes on with everyone having to cope – we simply do not have a choice other than pulling through this together. However hard this is on you or me, we have to help each other to stay sane and make the best out of the situation.

This story helps me to somehow deal a bit better with it all:

It´s like this: The first part happens fast.

You throw yourself into making life work, and you´re out on the water; the shore is pushing off behind you and the trees are getting smaller. The distant shore doesn´t seem so far, and you can feel the resolution coming, the feeling of getting out of your boat and walking the distant beach. You think it´s going to happen fast, you´ll paddle for a bit and arrive on the other side by lunch. But the truth is, it isn´t going to be over soon.

The work is harder than you imagined. But the point is not just about getting to the other side or achieving your visions and seeing results. It´s much more about your character getting molded in the hard work of the middle.

At some point the shore behind you stops getting smaller, and you paddle and wonder why the same strokes that used to move you now only rock the boat. You made routines helping you get out and breathe fresh air, but you just don´t know if you have enough to make it through.

You´d rather do something else, and live life as normal, because the far shore doesn´t get closer no matter how hard you paddle. The shore you left is just as distant, and there is no going back; there is only the decision to paddle in place or stop, slide out of the hatch, and sink into the sea.

When something hard happens, you have two choices in how to deal with it. You can either get bitter or better.

The call to you today is clear: don’t get weary of doing good, for in due season you will reap, if you do not give up.

It´s like this with every crossing. You paddle until you no longer believe you can go any farther. And then suddenly, well after you thought it would happen, the other shore starts to grow, and it grows fast. The trees get taller and you can make out the crags in the cliffs, and then the shore reaches out to you, to welcome you home, almost pulling your boat onto the sand.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace while you´re paddling your distance today. And may He grant you power to continue the crossing.