“…but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.” –1 Corinthians 10:13b
In this time of plague and inflamed passions, I have found it difficult to stay centered. It’s partly my fault because I doom scroll regularly even though the negativity collects in my soul like a ball of dryer lint. The unspoken tension pervading every gathering, even when others are masked and vaxxed, slowly eats at my spirit. Sometimes I feel as if I were walking on shifting sands, still upright, but unsteady. Maybe this really is “the ends of the ages.”
Recently, I developed a simple rule of life for myself. The process of forming the rule really helped to stabilize me as it required that I disengage from all the drama and connect with the spiritual. The rule itself now serves as a guide I can use to help regain my equilibrium whenever it starts to wobble. But it’s not a “get out of jail free” card or a magic pill. I have to make the effort every day to live into the intentions I have outlined there. Life is full of “testing,” challenging one’s ability to remain faithful to the way of Christ. My rule is a strong support and a reason for joy.
Even though I wrote the words, re-reading the rule refreshes my spirit and encourages me with sparks of positive energy. So, for example, my rule reminds me to be aware of God’s presence in all things and have faith even in darkness; to act with compassion and try to make someone’s life a little better this day; to extend, without over-extending, my God-given time, talent and treasure; and to know that I am loved by God.
God has unquestionably provided a “way out” by offering me the opportunity to form the rule of life and blessing me with people who support me in living it. Centered in this, I can live in this world, endure the testing and release the fears that previously vexed me.
Thanks to the One who steadies my walk in the way of the Christ, who gives me guides along the way, and who is ever faithful in light and dark. Amen.