Life has a Hopeful Undertone

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Here is some encouragement and deep thoughts for your consideration:

Life is complicated. Some days are beautiful and you feel full of life and joy. Other days you feel overwhelmed by pain and loneliness, and some you don’t feel anything at all.

When I was thirteen I went to public school for the first time. So picture this: socially awkward and culturally inept kid plus irregularly flaring hormones plus public middle school. In other words, I was a scared, lonely, and depressed little girl.

One day I was walking down the road on my way home from the bus stop. I had my thick unruly hair tied up in two pigtail braids and wore glasses and hand-me-down denim clothes. I must have been quite a sight shuffling along with my head down and earbuds in, not even noticing how beautiful the day was.

I was listening to Switchfoot on shuffle, and their song, Meant to Live, came on.  “We were meant to live for so much more, have we lost ourselves?” I started to think something like, “What am I meant to live for? My life sucks. There must be more than this. Is it even worth it?” Immediately after that song, The Shadow Proves the Sunshine started playing. “We are crooked souls trying to stay up straight. Dry eyes in the pouring rain. The shadow proves the sunshine…” The lyrics of both songs were basically exactly how I was feeling right then, and the message was exactly what I needed to hear. I felt like my life had no meaning, or if it did I was missing the point.  But in that moment I realized that life is hopeful and meaningful. It might be dark right now, but I need that in order to know and fully appreciate the light.

I don’t think I realized the full impact of that moment until years later. It was only the beginning to finding hope and meaning and joy even during the most painful times of life.

C.S. Lewis said, “If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.”

The reverse is true as well, that without the dark, light would have no meaning. Without sorrow, we could not know joy.  Etc, etc. You get the idea.

He also said,

“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”

Sometimes even when my life is awesome and I am blessed beyond measure I still feel a longing in my soul that I can’t explain.  Like C.S. Lewis, I can only conclude that I don’t belong here.  I will be restless until I rest in God. I will wander until He calls me home and in the meantime, nothing can satisfy me as deeply and completely as Christ can and does. I need to remind myself of this more often cause I forget it all the time and then I feel let down when I was looking in the wrong place.

So the hopeful undertone of life is that we are not alone, life has meaning, and Switchfoot still is my favorite band.

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