There Is Always an Ending

And that is what makes getting there so hard

If you pay attention to the news at all, you know what the United States is in a rather tumultuous time. With a presidential election on the horizon, tensions are starting to run high. In fact, it could be argued that they never calmed down after the last election.

From mass shootings to calls for impeachment, it just feels like the yelling and screaming and pain is never ending.

But this is not about that.

The strain on our relations with other people who think different from us will relax. The waters will settle. We will be able to breathe again. Our blood pressures will lower.

There is always an end to the bad times.

And that is what makes it so hard to get there.

We always see the end from far off. Whether that is healing from sickness, that much-needed vacation, heaven. Whatever your ending is, you see it. It is always in front of you. And everything in between seems to be holding you back from reaching it.

The 24 hour news cycle

The insults

The pain from the medicine

The monotony of the day to day

The constant prayers of “come, Lord Jesus”

The endings…they never seem to get any closer.

And that is what is making it so hard to get there. We have this tendency to get really wrapped up in what is happening in the moment that we get sidetracked or stuck in the mess of the right now. And all we are able to focus on in those moments is what is happening right in front of us.

And not even so much what is actually happening in front of us, but what we are feeling about what is happening right in front of us. And that kind of feeling is what prevents us from having any hope about the ending which we are moving toward.

Let me say right here that there is absolutely nothing wrong with feeling things. To live authentically is to feel authentically. To feel authentically is to experience authentically. And that means that, at times, we will feel undesirable emotions. But that can also be what gets us stuck. Not the feeling itself, but becoming obsessed with what it is we are feeling in a given moment. But more on this at a later time.

We are always moving forward, whether we notice it or not. Sometimes we are just moving forward

Much

More

Slowly

Than

We

Would

Like

To

Be

Moving.

It is like what happens in a book I read many times over when I was younger, The Pilgrim’s Progress. At one point in the story, the journeyer gets stuck in the Slough of Despond. Basically, he is stuck in a bog as he is trying to reach the end of his journey. And in this place, he has a choice: fight his way out or just sink in it and not really get any further.

He was still on track to reach the ending he desired, but it was going to take him a hell of a lot longer to get there than he had anticipated.

And that is what slows us down. We get stuck in what is happening around us, the crowds of emotions and other people and their needs of us make it really damn hard to move forward. But it is still possible to move forward.

You have to keep moving forward.

There are no steps to forward momentum other than to take steps forward. Sometimes you have to take smaller steps than at other times. Sometimes you can run and other times you have to squeeze through the tightest spots imaginable.

But you just have to keep going. Do everything in your power to keep your eye on the conclusion of your journey.

And, no matter what, do not lose hope.

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