Wheels touched down on Dayton soil last night late, thus now it’s time I leave behind my palm trees, fruity drinks and the effort of trying to finish a novel before the end of the trip. Now we hit the ground running. We walked in at 1 am last night to half packed boxes, zero groceries and a list of questions for a realtor the size of my arm. My head hit the pillow as I was thinking, “shit just got REAL.”
We returned to frustration. Stress. Change. Goodbyes and hello-agains. And do you know what the easiest thing to do is? Doubt.
Did we make the right decision? Will we be as happy? Is this what we’re “supposed” to do?
Our culture simply doesn’t embrace the fact that hard things can be good things and walking against that current takes more energy than I imagined possible.
The fact of the matter is, the easiest thing you can do in the world is nothing at all. Of course it’s easier for us to stay than go. Of course it’s easier for us to remain in our house than move to a new one. But by staying the same, we’re never afforded the opportunity for growth that change brings about.
On the cusp of change, bracing for the fall, our minds crave sameness. Homeostasis. Doubt is our mind’s way of returning us to what is known.
Yet we’re not called to live based on what we know, but rather that for which we hope. And not the “gee, it’d be nice” hope. The Hebrew word for hope carries a connotation of “waiting.” Something that is not, yet will be. Yet we will never arrive at hope revealed when we keep returning to what we know – that is a thread in the story of the people of God time after time after time.
Someone much smarter than me said* the opposite of faith is not doubt – it’s certainty. Knowing. The thing that keeps us from walking into our hope-full reality is what we already know to be true and our fear of leaving it. Our fear that this new thing won’t be as good as our current thing.
Perhaps this is why God’s repeated message – over and over and over, beyond any other commandment, warning or promise – is “do not fear.” He knows our limited minds, our troubled hearts and reminds us that living with hope isn’t always knowing, it’s trusting.
It’s easy to doubt. It’s easy to stay. It’s easy to avoid change. But I suppose that if I had to choose between an easy life and a life filled with daily hope in a future that surpasses my understanding, even at the risk of disappointment, I’d choose a life of hopefulness any day.
May we each choose a life of hope over ease today.