A few years ago my brother and I drove the Natchez Trace from Franklin, Tennessee to Natchez, Mississippi. We stopped along the way (visiting our precious niece Joy and her family @ French Camp, MS) and enjoyed many scenic opportunities.
It may be a tad weird, but one of my favorite Natchez Trace stopping spots was Cypress Swamp, MS. On a misty day it was eerie, but kinda cool. Not that I would want to be stuck there at night. (Forgot to ask if there are alligators. Probably, yes.)
Swamps usually connote unpleasantness. It is, after all, where alligators thrive. Where entities like “Swamp Things” go about their frightening business. (There never seem to be scary movies about “Pond Things.”)
Swamps also tend to overwhelm, as in “I’m swamped with work.”
Sometimes things in our lives may seem a little creepy, scary even. (Freaky viruses? Paralyzed economies? No TP in the groceries?)
We can let what’s scary freak us out…
Or we can take a closer look.
Maybe what looked creepy from a distance is just a tree stump up close.
But, sometimes we let fear creep us out, immobilizing our forward momentum.
“Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swamps of the not-quite, the not yet, and the not-at-all.” Ayn Rand
Swamps of stinkin’ thinkin’ leave us mired in doubt and despair, a place that doesn’t take us anywhere.
Stinkin’ thinkin’ like we are nothing nobodies. Nobody cares.
Why stay in that swamp? Get out of there!
“We are all people with souls, sparks of the Divine.” Henri Nouwen
The challenge when wading through the swamps of our lives is to never lose hope. If we look around, we might find blossoms of hope in the middle of what’s swamping us.
“Hope discovers what can be done, instead of grumbling about what cannot. Hope pushes ahead when it might be easy to quit. Hope opens doors where despair closes them.” James Keller, M.M.
Hoping in the midst of our swamps is not easy. Indeed, it’s downright hard – a tough thing to do when everything seems to be against you.
But, you are not alone. You do not need to be afraid.
“Do not fear for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name: you are mine. When you pass through the waters I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you…” (Isaiah 43:1-2)
grace, peace & SWAMPED HOPE!
Virginia : )
“Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27)