Life Is Now In Session

 


I was in a meeting today, listening to someone share a story about a challenge they were facing.  And then she said something that was so amazing that I wrote it down, and now I'm sharing it with you: 

Life is now in session. 

There's a number of ways that you could take that line outside of the context of when and how it was said---so let me illuminate it a bit. 

When she said it, the woman wasn't complaining, she wasn't bemoaning her fate over the hard thing that she was having to stare down and overcome.  She said it with a determination and confidence that was striking, and inspiring.  

It's like she was saying, "This is how it's going to be. I've got to deal with this.  I can't shrink away from it.  I can't back down.  There is no way but forward.  Life is in session."  

I can't tell you how much that fired me up.  

We've all had our share of hard things to stare down over the past seventeen months (and counting), so it's fairly awesome to see news reports of COVID cases declining, and the number of people getting vaccinated increasing. 

It's exciting to realize the light at the end of the COVID tunnel is no longer a pinprick in the distance, but a full-on shining beam of hope.  I get that the world is still full of challenges, and problems, but still... it's good to feel good. 

But here's the thing... there will be other challenges to face.  This is how it goes, you see.  There will be moments ahead when we will have to stare down more hard things and try our best to overcome them.  

And we have a choice to make when those challenges come... 

We can retreat, which at times may seem like the way to go, especially when the challenges seem insurmountable.  We can also give in to fear, become paralyzed, and begin beating ourselves up over feeling those feelings.  

Or we can do something else---something that we might even rise to do after those first two choices inevitably don't work out the way we want them to work out.  

We can pull ourselves together, square our shoulders, and stare the challenges right in their faces, and say: 

Life is now in session.  

I feel like the Apostle Paul had a similar approach to the many challenges he faced.  Paul was shipwrecked a couple of times, bitten by a poisonous snake, beaten within an inch of his life, imprisoned, attacked by a lynch mob, and left for dead... 

He had tons of self-doubt, struggled with the temptation to give up, felt depressed, was betrayed by friends, and discounted by other leaders in his own faith tradition, and a host of other stuff. 

And Paul wrote this:  "I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me."  

I see that verse as a shorthand version of this:  

"Hey man, life is now in session... but I've got a secret weapon in these struggles... the Risen Christ, who never leaves me stranded.  In fact, my strength to stare this thing down comes from knowing that because of the Resurrection, I will always know that the worst thing is never the last thing."  

I might be reading between the lines a bit, but from what I know of Paul, I can imagine him saying this with some measure of confidence.  

Listen, whatever you are facing today might seem like it's too hard to overcome, but you have everything you need to do just that.  Take a deep breath.  Breathe in some faith that the One who was raised from the dead won't let you fall.  And then let this be your prayer/mantra:  

Life is now in session.

And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.  


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