It’s so easy these days to become hysterical. But there is a choice. That’s why I value Jesuit Father Luis Espinal who was assassinated in La Paz, Bolivia in March 1980.
Shortly before his death he wrote:
“There are Christians who have hysterical reactions, as if the world would have slipped out of God’s hands… But we believe in history; the world is not a roll of the dice going toward chaos. A new world has begun to happen since Christ has risen… Jesus…Your sorrow has now passed. Your enemies have now failed. You are a definitive smile for humankind… We march behind you, on the road to the future. You are with us and you are our immortality!” Take away the sadness from our faces. We are not in a game of chance…You have the last word!“
Amen and amen. When you want to get hysterical, keep marching. We do not live in fear because we live in the presence of the risen Lord Jesus Christ who keeps saying, “Do not be afraid. Do not fear. Let not your hearts be troubled. I am with you; I will not leave you desolate. Follow me.” We do not live in scarcity but in abundance because we live in the presence of Christ and all of God is available through Him. As a friend of mine once said, “I believe in God and He is the same God who stood by Moses and said, ‘What’s the problem? There’s sea in front of you? Watch this!’”
And the rest is history!
This is the same God who is present in Jesus. So when the moments of fear, panic, stress – and fragilization – well up within you, look back only long enough to see how faithful God has been, and to see how far He has brought us. Then turn back around and look forward, and keep marching into God’s future. When you want to get hysterical, keep marching. It may be more satisfying at the moment to get hysterical – after all, we all love moments of hysteria that relieve our stress for a while – but the long term relief comes from marching behind Jesus. When you want to get hysterical, keep marching.
As the Zulu Christians sing “Siyahamba” – “We are marching in the light of God.” May Jesus be your definitive smile as you march behind Him into the future He has planned.