futureSometimes I find myself pressing to know how the future unfolds. I want assurances that everything will work out according to my wouldn’t-it-be-grand hopes. Maybe you can relate about how your own future is unfolding.

Many of us feel squeezed right now into a COVID-19 holding cell. A pandemic purgatory. We are ordered to stay home to avoid the relentless coronavirus, but we long to be free to go anywhere we want . . . when we want.

The kids fidget to be back at school and with their friends, and we would applaud that too, but we must wait. We all want our normalcy back, but that is hovering in the distance. Day by day we grow antsy wondering about our future and our longed-for freedoms.

Let’s Make it Down the Hill

Hobbits Sam and Frodo can relate. Near the end of the movie The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, buddies Sam and Frodo are weak-kneed after battling everything from grotesque little Gollum (how can we ever forget “Preh-shhhhussss”?) to that massive, deadly spider. Battered and famished, the two companions reach the top of a ridge overlooking a valley swarming with enemy troops.

Across the horizon loom the flaming fires of Mount Doom—their long-anticipated destination. Sensing that Frodo is on the edge of giving up, Sam encourages his friend: “Come on, let’s just make it down the hill for starters.”

Making it down the hill starts with at least one partial step. Followed by another. We don’t need to have our tomorrow and next week and next month all figured out today. The future will show up. 

The Real Cure

All across the world these days, individuals, families, and entire communities are stepping up to stomp out the coronavirus. Many of us are bonding together like never before. Seniors are sewing homemade facemasks. Teens are volunteering to walk dogs and deliver groceries. Grade-schoolers are making cards and posters to cheer on medical teams and first responders.

Humanity is learning that the slowdown of COVID-19 may well be our real cure for this world’s drivenness, anxiety, and self-sufficiency. What if all the speeches and posters about our unity is true? What if we really are “all in this together?”

Maybe we like Sam and Frodo can park it just a bit longer at the top of the ridge. Perhaps we can cast our eyes from the swarming obstacles ahead straight and look into the summer that is edging over the horizon. Maybe we can allow our COVID enemy to clear out so we can make it down the hill and on to greater destinations ahead.

I’m up for sitting on the ridge a bit with you in our lockdown weeks. Well, that is if we stay six feet apart.