Choose Hope

Many of my friends and family that attended our wedding commented on how much they liked the minister, Lois Van Leer. She serves the Unitarian Universalist church that Kathy and I attend. Today she sent out the e-mail below which I thought was very much worth sharing.

“Decisions” by Boris Novak

Between two words
choose the quieter one.
Between word and silence
choose listening.
Between two books
choose the dustier one.
Between the earth and the sky
choose a bird.
Between two animals
choose the one who needs you more.
Between two children
choose both.
Between the lesser and the bigger evil
choose neither.
Between hope and despair
choose hope:
it will be harder to bear.

These are difficult times. Unpredictable times. Distressing times. Hate-filled times. Fearful times. Tipping point times. Times full of decisions: for our selves, our loved ones, all life on earth, for the future. Many of these decisions seem to be between the “lesser and bigger evil.” What does it mean to choose neither of them? And are we able to bear choosing hope?

Now, in these times that weight our every breath and threaten to break our spirits, is the time for decisions. For things like “hope” or “faith” or “love” are often just that: decisions. So now is the time to make these kinds of choices. To commit to them with tenacity. And to live into them.

It is easy by comparison, to choose despair. For it becomes all enveloping, creating a rabbit hole that one can sink into ever deeper. Despair paralyzes. Despair, if inhabited too regularly, is a way of giving up. Of not choosing life.

Hope in these times is nonsensical and irrational. Well, hope always is, isn’t it? For some it is a denial of reality. For others it is a non-acceptance of what is that causes further despair.

In these times, hope is a decision, love is a decision. If I have to choose what to give myself over to, the choice will be hope even if it will be harder to bear. It will demand things of me, of those who choose it. Hope requires our creativity and imagination to find a way out, a way forward.

In this season of darkness with its Mystery and gifts, in this season of day overcoming the nighttime hours, in this season of expectation, choose. Choose hope. And when you cannot hold it, let others of us carry it for you for a while.

Peace be with you, Rev. Lo


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