Upon reflecting on today’s readings, one theme consistently came to mind - the evolution of the heart. I believe these readings set up an interesting progression of how one can deal with despair. Although each reading has a sentiment of its own, they beautifully coalesce into a prescription for the evolution of the heart.
We start with Job. In this passage, he spends his time questioning his own existence and adopting a woe is me attitude. Upon reading this, quite frankly, I felt a little annoyed by him. He goes so far as to curse the day he was born. But as the Word often does, it causes us to turn inward and question our own actions. I am guilty of the same thing as Job. I have spent countless hours in self-pity, asking Why me? I have wondered why the whole world seems to be against me. But this is not the case. Our troubles are not the problem - our reactions are.
This leads us to the psalms. They call us to offer up our troubles to the Lord, our God. He has not forsaken us, so why would we ignore Him when we struggle? In times of distress, in times of hardship - offer it up! The first step of the evolution of the heart takes place here. Instead of throwing our arms up and cursing our own existences, we must offer up our prayers to Him. In the deepest depths of despair and when we are thrown into the pit of hopelessness, we must call out to our Father.
And finally, we are shown the ultimate end-point of the evolution of the heart in the actions of Jesus. He was condemned. He knew his fate. But did he say woe is me and throw up his arms? No. He resolutely journeyed towards His fate.
I know that I have not reached this kind of conviction. I have not reached a point in my personal evolution of the heart to just accept the hardships and journey towards them. But I must look to the example of Jesus to continue my spiritual growth. How do you handle the hardships in your life? Do you resolve to self-pity? Do you offer up your prayers to our God? Do you work on your own evolution of the heart?
Samantha Aguinaldo-Wetterholm is a wife, mom, and soon-to-be-dentist currently living in San Francisco, California. You can find out more about her here.