“The presentRobert Frost
Is too much for the senses,
Too crowding, too confusing—
Too present to imagine.”
I’ve always loved this quote. I’ve thought of it often during times of extreme busyness, brokenness or change. However, since March 15th this year (the day we suspended onsite worship) I think of this quote every single day.
I suspect that most of us can relate to the Frost quote in this time and season. We feel bombarded with information about: COVID, politics, natural disasters, violent protests, the economy, unemployment. For most of us the stability of our day to day routines has been disrupted: watch group size, stay at home if you can, wear a mask, wash your hands, watch your distance, watch for symptoms. Our routines with family, with our church family, with our friends and others has changed. The present has become, “to present to imagine”.
I learned many years ago from Alcoholics Anonymous that when you can’t change a situation it’s best to accept the situation as neither good or bad, but just as the way it is—at the present moment. Then you are free to choose a healthy response instead of a negative one. You become free to respond with hope and compassion rather than anger, rebellion, and resentment. When I choose hope and compassion it’s much easier for me to follow John Wesley’s General Rules: do no harm, do good, stay in love with God.
We are all weary of the virus. We all long for better days. I believe that in Christ we always find hope to sustain us, to strengthen us, and to move us forward. I’ll leave you with a few passages of scripture that have been very sustaining for me these past months. My hope is that they will be meaningful to you as well.
“We were saved in hope. If we see what we hope for, that isn’t hope. Who hopes for what they already see? But if we hope for what we don’t see, we wait for it with patience. In the same way, the Spirit comes to help our weakness. We don’t know what we should pray, but the Spirit himself pleads our case with unexpressed groans.”Romans 8:24-26
“We know that God works all things together for good for the ones who love God, for those who are called according to his purpose.”Romans 8:28