Break an Arm
I remember crashing down. The snow wasn’t soft enough. The ice was too hard.
I braced with my left arm.
And my arm snapped.
It hurt. Badly. [See the story here.]
But the pain from a broken arm went beyond physical.
It was my thoughts about the future that also caused suffering.
My One Word 2019
That happened years ago. But I think about it still.
Almost every year when I am searching for my One Word for the year, one word repeatedly makes it on my preliminary list: hope.
But each year, something else overpowers it. And perhaps rightly so. For those years.
But for 2019, my cynicism and pessimism towards the political and cultural divides in America have made “hope” stand out as the only correct choice.
Because even though I eventually gain it back, I can too easily give up hope.
Just like when I broke my arm. I too easily gave up hope.
What hurt the most were thoughts of losing future abilities to play the piano, to type, to use my left arm for anything meaningful. I was worried about the possibility of unimagined losses for a lifetime, not just that my arm would be useless for the next few weeks.
Hope Is Now
When I become hopeless about the future, I also lose my peace and joy in the present.
Hope brings more than just confidence about the future, more than just trust in God’s grace around the corner.
Hope also is grace for today.
I want joy in the now that comes from confidence in God down the road.
It’s right now that I gain peace when I hope.
These present benefits of hope are the ones I want to claim.
Hope on Hand
So with the Spirit’s guidance—a route I can’t fully predict or plot on a calendar—I want to call hope to mind more often in 2019. As a spiritual discipline. As a deliberate practice.
Each month as I hold hope for myself, my friends, our world, I want to cling to hope personified, the person and deity of Jesus. To learn from him. To let him hold my hand.
“I will not be shaken with the Lord at my right hand.”
I know he’s at my left hand, too.
As it turned out, my broken left arm healed fine. Maybe a tad more crooked upon close examination, but it’s as functional as before the break.
So for 2019, this will be my theme:
“But this I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end.”
Hope is not only for later. It blesses me right now.
* * *
Do you have one word or phrase for 2019? Does hope come easily to you? Or like me, do you have to work at it? Please share in the comments.
Previous One Words:
- 2011—Depend and Delight
- 5 Links, Books, and Things I Love – January 2019
- Resist and Persist – An Important Book for Our Times