I took few notes during the sermon. My mind was too busy processing what was being said and playing it out in my own life. I jotted down a few references and a sentence fragment, and I did manage two complete sentences:
Everything about my situation is exactly what God has called me to in this present moment.
It’s not about getting beyond any situation; it’s about serving God (not Him serving us) in this moment.
As we stood to sing the closing songs my mind raced. And then the thoughts coalesced into a series of questions. I dropped back into my seat and wrote them across the bottom of my notes:
When I say I have hope, what is that hope? Is it for the moment/situation to pass? Is it for answers? Or is it for God to be glorified in the present moment as well as the moments to come? Am I present in my hope?
They’re questions that have been tapping my shoulder and asking to be addressed. But they’re still dangling just out of answerable reach. Being present is a familiar concept. And hope makes cameos. But putting them together . . . that’s new.
Hope has been an escape—it’s the dream of change or the possible fulfillment of long-held desires. But if it’s holding out for something down the road, is it helping me live fully as called in this moment? Or is it offering an out from engaging in this moment? Is a potential change making now bearable? Or is realizing the present is not inherently the future allowing me to be present?
I guess I never asked those questions before. But if I had, the answers might have shown I disengage from serving in the moment because I’m focused on “hope” for something else. I look for an out from my reality, and I label it hope, all the while missing the opportunity to engage now, to serve now, to let true hope be the strength that allows me to be present now.
Hope is not wishful thinking; hope is the fuel to live well, to connect deeply and to be all in this very moment. Hope is less about getting to the future and more about participating in the present.
So . . . am I present in my hope?