It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,
it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness...
it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair...
in short, the period was so far like the present period...
from "A Tale of Two Cities"
~ Charles Dickens*
What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done;
there is nothing new under the sun.
~ Ecclesiastes 3:19
O God of Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow ~
Just about the time I get very discouraged about the world ~ which is pretty much every day at the moment ~ I remember the piece from Ecclesiastes 1:9 which leads me to the piece that opens Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities from 1859 ~ sigh, not much does change does it? Wars, poverty, diseases that should be gone are coming back, squabbles and bitter debates in governmental corridors over basic human needs and decent wages vs. corporate greed and excessive profit...us vs them at home and everywhere else and, O Dear God ~ the children ~ the terrible things happening to the world's children. If I go on with those thoughts I would lose hope.
But then I remember there is Ecclesiastes 3:1-8: For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven...and I can breathe again, while the storms of the world rage around me, even if only briefly. I will step in wherever I can to rage back as productively as possible, to help if only in meager ways but always striving to move past what I think I can manage. And in the midst of all the terror, injustice, anguish, and despair, there still is beauty, joy, goodness, and love. Help me keep my jar of hope cleansed with faith and filled with the essence of wonder. Grant me the strength of heart to love well, care deeply, live in gratitude, and act with positive purpose, and, always in Your name, to change any negative outcomes of que sera sera. amen.
*Charles Dickens [1812-1870], English-born Victorian author is still known for many of his 15 novels but most popular today, among them, is A Tale of Two Cities and A Christmas Carol. Many of his short stories, novels, and articles chronicled the class distinctions and severe poverty and hardships of his day.
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