Hope or Fear?

“You chose a Wellesley grad who spent the first decade of her career broke, begging for freelance work, who constantly heard that she was under qualified or, later, overqualified (that means old) or basically just plain wrong for whatever it was she wanted to do. She eventually ended up with a really great job, doing exactly what she wanted to do, exactly where she wanted to do it: in the Middle East. And she got hit by a car bomb; they nearly took her legs off. She had to come back from the dead, roughly five times, and learn how to walk again. So it tells me a lot about you and your current state of mind that you all thought you needed to hear from me, with whatever lessons I had to offer from those experiences, as you leave college for the rest of your life. In short, you all want to know how to be bomb-proof, right? So, you’re right: I learned a lot. Most of all, that every time I ran into a wall, I had two choices on how to face it: hope or fear.” Kimberly Dozier, CBS News correspondent in her commencement speech at Wellesley College, as reprinted in the NY Times NATIONAL section, Sunday, June 14, 2009.

I listened to an Alban Institute webinar last week with Diana Butler Bass and Graham Standish called, “Moving from Financial Survival to Missional Focus.” It was very good. The essence of it was fear or hope. Basically that we live in a time of great fear. People are afraid of all kinds of things. And the fear is causing a profound “freezing” – an inability to be creative, to take risks, to discern what God might be calling a person, a congregation, a community, to do/be. The response to this fear is to work for, to hold intentionally, hope. And hope comes from prayer.


About Terri C Pilarski

I am an Episcopal priest serving a delightfully progressive, interesting, creative congregation. I have been married more than half my life to the same man. We have two grown children, plus two dogs and two cats, although the number of four legged household members changes from time to time. I love to garden, knit, read, and play on Facebook or with my blog. I have been a practitioner of daily meditation since I was nineteen. I practice yoga five days a week and walk every where I am able too.
This entry was posted in Alban Institute, diana butler bass, Graham Standish, vision. mission. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Hope or Fear?

  1. Barbara B. says:

    Yes, there is a lot of "freezing" going on. Good thoughts!

  2. God_Guurrlll says:

    Having been "frozen out" myself this is a timely message. I've been praying for a sense of hope myself.

  3. Songbird says:

    Wow, what a powerful message!

  4. Purple says:

    Thanks for sharing this Mompriest.

  5. Jennifer says:

    Lots to consider here….thanks!

  6. AMEN!!(I find too often that I freeze from being afraid to hope. Silly, just silly)

  7. MumPastor says:

    thank you for this Mompriest – would it be ok if I used this illustration in my sermon this week? It really fits with where I am headed. Great post!

  8. mompriest says:

    MumPastor – use away, be sure to cite the NY Times…

  9. MumPastor says:

    Thanks Mompriest, will do!

  10. This dichotomy is so true and so moving. I know I'm struggling with that choice.

  11. Diane says:

    powerful message indeed! yeah, and in my organizing group, where we organize ideas, we have these three ideas:moving from isolation to community,moving from scarcity to abundance, andmoving from fear to hope.

  12. mompriest says:

    excellent Diane, sounds like some of the work we hope our parish will do…moving from and to the same…

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