Minute Meditation – Spilling Good

Spilling good brings clarity, maybe especially in times of uncertainty. Because sometimes, life can feel too big. Too precarious. Times that break us, undo us. Times when the labels we give our limitations make our anxiety or fear feel bigger than life itself. And sometimes (if I’m honest), I’ve got nothing to give. But I’m a storyteller, and I take consolation in stories about our human capacity for recovery and renewal. When I focus on what is missing, I do not see my capacity for enoughness, inside.

The ordinary moments of every day (even those that confuse us, unnerve us, or break our hearts) are hiding places of the holy. Where the sacred is alive and well. Where hope grows. Anxiety and vulnerability are real, yes. But the answer is not to chase vulnerability away. It’s the opposite. My vulnerability is the signal that I am human, with the capacity to be stretched, to give my heart, to be broken, to cry with those who break, to spill good. And I don’t ever want to lose that.

—from the book Stand Still: Finding Balance When the World Turns Upside Down,
by Terry Hershey, page 45

Minute Meditation – The Anchor of Hope

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” —Hebrews 11:1

The writer of the Book of Psalms sums up his reason for hope in Psalm 56:9–11: “This I know, that God is for me. In God, whose word I praise, … in God I trust; I am not afraid.” There you have it. The person who believes and trusts in God, in my observation, has far less fear because he or she senses God’s presence, care, and protection. In the Scriptures, hope is visualized as an anchor. By hope we are anchored to Christ, so we don’t go adrift. He comes to us spiritually to be our anchor amid the storms of life. Be open to him.

Lord, it is so easy for me to drift. Be my anchor. Amen.

—from the book Three Minutes with God: Reflections and Prayers to Encourage, Inspire, and Motivate
by Monsignor Frank Bognanno

Fear vs. Hope

How hopeful are you? It’s a difficult question. In a world drowning in fear and anxiety, it can be easy to get swept up in the panic of today’s culture. But as Christians, we have something greater than fear. Today, Allen gives a beautiful reflection on what hope really means and how you can increase hope in your daily life.

Life is Messy – Unexpected Lives

Life didn’t turn out the way I expected. In some ways it has exceeded my expectations, and in other ways it has disappointed them. Never in my wildest dreams as a child would I have imagined the life I have lived. The adventures, experiences, and opportunities, the love I have given and received, and the success I have enjoyed have all far exceeded my expectations. But I also never imagined in my worst nightmares the dark side of these bright lights.

We all end up living unexpected lives.

There are hopes and dreams that didn’t materialize that I grieve, but I have been surprised and delighted by other unexpected gifts. And there are hopes and dreams that I am glad did not come to fruition. The unexpected goes both ways.

But these are not the things that make life most unexpected. It’s the truly unexpected things, those we don’t hope for or fear—particularly those that come out of nowhere and break our hearts. You wake up one morning and discover that your life has been changed forever, because of something you did or something someone else did. It’s the things we don’t plan, the things we never imagined would happen. It’s those unexpected events that slap you so hard in the face that you can taste blood in your mouth.

Nobody’s life turns out the way they expect it to. We shouldn’t be surprised. Nobody looks back on life to discover it unfolded exactly as they hoped or planned, but I found myself particularly unprepared for the inevitability of the unexpected. That’s the paradox: It is inevitable that we live unexpected lives.

Life doesn’t unfold according to our plans. But sooner or later, we each have to decide how we are going to make the most of our one, brief, unexpected life. It is then that we come face-to-face with two enduring truths: We cannot live without hope that things will change for the better, and we are not victims of our circumstances.

Hope is not always as accessible as we would like. It often seems just out of reach at those times when we are most in need of it, when our hearts are broken, our minds downtrodden, and our souls crushed. Yet, even in those moments, we have a choice. The unexpected is either a curse or an opportunity. We get to decide.

Matthew Kelly

From Life is Messy