Wednesday, July 15, 2009
The River of Hope
"Bless the Lord, O my soul,....who satisfies you with good as long as you live so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's," said David in Psalms 103:1,5. This morning some negative thoughts were keeping my usually grateful self from rising from my bed with its usual happy bounce. I was not feeling all that youthful in my not-so-youthful body. What was wrong? I had temporarily stepped out of the present moment into anxiety of what the future will bring. In our current economic environment, I was concerned about our kids and ourselves. Yet I know that John Milton was right when he wrote, "The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of Hell, and a hell of Heaven." I could stay there in the misery of hell or rise up to the joy of Heaven. It was my choice. I decided to release my cares into the competent hands of the Lord. This is not always easy. Joel Osteen likens it to digging a new river, one thought at a time. He says, "At first, just a little water will be redirected out of the negative stream and trickle over into that positive stream." Then as we choose faith over fear, serenity releases tension in the spirit just like a massage releases tension in the body. (I know about massage because my daughter is a licensed therapist.) As renewal comes, I start expecting good things, starting with having a productive day. Finally the negative stream, referred to by Joel, starts dwindling and the positive river flows with great force. Alfred Lord Tennyson writes, "Cast all your cares on God; that anchor holds." I will not be washed away by that tiny negative stream. No, the mighty positive river will carry me in its current to calmness. Come to think of it, the bible tells us to cast our cares upon God too. OK, now I'm feeling like an eagle!