How do we as human beings reconcile the essential dichotomies of hope and fear, of change and security?
Quoted in this December 2007 sermon at the Universalist National Memorial Church in Washington, D.C., today’s selection addresses just this question. It comes from a now out of print meditation manual from 1983, To Meet the Asking Years, edited by Gordon B. McKeeman. Author Ida M. Folsom is a long-time Universalist who was on the Universalist Church of American Extension Board from 1946-48.
The Waters of Life
by Ida Folsom
There are times in the lives of all of us when the greatest and most imperative need is for a sense of security and confidence that cannot be shaken by the winds of chance.
The waters of life never run smoothly. Every day has its darkness and its light, its bitter and its sweet, its pleasure and its pain. There are always unfulfilled promises, hopes that fade into the mists of years, the dreams from which we rudely awaken. It is in moments like these when we feel the futility of dreams, the cruelty of promise and the wastefulness of hope.
One of the great song writers, who understood life, challenges us with these words: “Unless you have a dream, how can you have a dream come true?” and we might follow his thought by asking: “Unless we have a hope, how can we find courage for the road, and unless we have a goal, how shall we know when we have arrived?” Dreams with purposes, hopes with purpose, aspirations with purpose, are the “everlasting arms” that bear us up and make sure our confidence in ourselves when the current seems to be running against us.
I will say to my soul: “Thou shall not be shaken by the exigencies of life, for all experiences are necessary to thy shaping,” and I will look hard at the hammer and anvil that shape them.
Source: “The Waters of Life” by Ida M. Folsom, from To Meet the Asking Years, edited by Gordon B. McKeeman, as quoted in this December 2007 sermon at the Universalist National Memorial Church in Washington, D.C.Tags: darkness, fear, hope, Ida Folsom, light