Adulthood is a rhythm I’m trying to work out, and there are days it feels like a song hummed on some spring morning and other days it grinds inside my ears. With my first grown-up job, I am reminded how much of life is repetitious—I drink my coffee, go to work, come home, eat dinner, pack a lunch for tomorrow, go to sleep and restart again. Grocery shopping and laundry replay week after week.
Then in the news I hear of all the ways and places the world has split open to bleed. Our black brothers killed, attacks on police, Baghdad bombed, crowds mowed down by a truck in Nice. Bloody summer once again.
What can I do? My daily routine is shabby at best.
I wonder if this is why my generation has struggled so much to grow up, huddled in front of our computer screens, complaining about ‘adulting.’ We are more connected to the rest of the world than any generation before us, and we can see as clear as day the general inadequacy of our lives. Anything we might accomplish, any good we do, is not a drop in a bucket to all the bad. We’ll never outweigh the world’s tears.
But the world has always been bleeding. I think of Jesus calling his disciples, who followed half in disbelief and fear.
When Jesus told Peter to cast down the nets, Peter thought he was a fool. All day he had caught nothing. Why should anything change now?
Still, he entertained the fool’s notion, and when they brought in the nets, the boats began to sink for all the fish.
“Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!” he cried out, falling at Jesus’ feet.
When Philip told Nathanael, “We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth,” Philip responds with a jaded half-joke, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”
Aren’t we all the same—asking can anything good come to this godforsaken world, and if by some small chance it can, who are we to be a part of it?
But they went, these men and boys with fear and trembling. They followed their Lord to feed the hungry, heal the sick, and preach good news to the poor. They did it shabbily at times, arguing who was the greatest, never quite grasping the meaning of Jesus’ parables.
They walked in clumsy hope as the vision of the Kingdom of God loomed larger, until John in his old age could write with confidence that “the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining.”
He put words to what happened those years ago, that Jesus “is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.”
And again, in Revelation, when the vision is complete, of a world made new:
The home of God is among mortals.
He will dwell with them;
they will be his peoples
and God himself will be with them;
he will wipe every tear from their eyes.
Death will be no more;
mourning and crying and pain will be no more,
for the first things have passed away.
So brothers and sisters, let us not lose hope. May we be peacemakers who hunger and thirst for righteousness. May we love our neighbors as ourselves. May we be children of God, shining with light from our kingdom we see from afar.