“Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace.” ~ Victor Hugo
Dread is something that none of us cares to endure. When we dread doing something, it can sap all the energy out of us. Even if what we dreaded was not as bad as we thought, we most likely could not enjoy the experience. Dread can cripple us physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Victor Hugo — author of Les Miserables and the Hunchback of Notre Dame among many other notable works — lived in the 1800’s and knew a lot about dread. He saw great upheaval in society, experienced the death of a daughter from which he really never recovered, and lived in exile for a time. If anyone had a reason to embrace dread and let it consume him, Hugo would have been the person.
But, Hugo tells us to “have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones.” He knew that courage would give a person the energy needed to apply oneself to the task at hand, the work of the day, and give that person the ability to sleep in peace at the end of the day.
What if we would apply that adage to our spiritual lives? So many people live in dread. They dread the work ahead of them, they dread a confrontation that might have to take place, and they dread the unknown. For heaven’s sake, some even dread that they dread. What if, instead of embracing dread, we asked God to give us the courage that we needed to face our fears and to face the unknown. If we ask, God will give it to us.
So many people dread developing in the spiritual life. That might sound strange; but, they do. The reason they do, I believe, is because the soul inherently knows that development of a spiritual life implies and incurs change: a change of heart, a change of prayer style, a change of attitude, and many other changes. Change is one of the many things that people dread.
Thus, instead of embracing the change that will further our spiritual lives, many shirk the invitation and remain where they are. That leads to stagnation in mind and soul. Shake off your dread and embrace the day as beautiful, messy, ugly, or challenging as it might be. Shake off that dread and know that God will be at your side.
FAITH ACTION: Look toward your day with hope and confidence, knowing that you are not walking alone. God is walking with you this day.