By Rev. Beverly Kahle
St. Paul UCC – Nashville
Terrorist act follows terrorist act. Prices of all the essentials seem to just keep rising, Pay checks seem to dwindle. Crime is on the rise. The government is in an uproar. Could it be another year without a state budget?
These things affect not just us in Illinois (well, maybe not being able to pass a budget might be unique to us), but all over. All of these add to our growing anxiety. We Americans are more anxious than ever before.
When will it end? How bad will it get? Sometimes I find myself wanting to burrow into a hole and never come out. Where is hope?
As a Christian, I find my hope in the continued presence and promise of God. When I become anxious and worried, I am reminded of God’s faithfulness. Then I take a deep breath and breathe.
As I feel my spirit calming, I look around at the wonderful world that God has given. I see the flowers springing forth in multi hues of resplendent color. I smell the sweet aroma of blossoms. I feel the gentle touch of the breeze.
As I take these few moments to re-connect with the Spirit that created, I find myself re-created. I am not alone. Miraculously, hope is restored.
The world around me still exists in all of its brokenness and frenzy, but I find that when I take the time to put God first in my life, to truly allow God to be first, these concerns about the future and day to day living become manageable.
I find myself changed as I no longer fearing being out-of-control, because I have allowed God to take control. So, I practice breathing. Breathing in the calm, life-giving Spirit of God and breathing out my doubts and fears.
We do live in a crisis time, but we don’t have to live a crisis life.
If we allow ourselves to rest in God, to breathe in His peace, we can find strength to deal with all that is going on around us in positive and productive ways.
Instead of hiding in a hole, God invites us to lean on Him and one another as we live in community.
Alone, this world will overwhelm. Together, with God, we can do as we always have done in America. Band together, offer a united front and face things head on.
Helping one another, we can get through these anxious times with peace in our hearts.
May we just remember to breathe!