Have you ever felt frustrated and alone? Have you ever thought, what was the point in doing anything because nothing will change? Have you ever felt like what you do ultimately doesn’t matter? So much about every aspect of our lives can be complicated, chaotic, and has us questioning whether any effort changes anything. It seems the more complex the situation the more questions arise like: does anything we do actually matter or is it all just to keep us busy? All of us at some point in our lives ask these questions whether it is in our homes, at work, in our relationships, when we volunteer, gazing at the stars, feeling the warmth of the sun or reading our email. When we feel these things how might God be present with us in those moments? How might God be guiding us through those questions?
Two passages that can provide some insight are out of Hebrews and Philippians. They challenge us in how we are showing up for one another, the attitude we cultivate, how God is helping us answer our frustrations.
Hebrews 10:24-25 (CEB)
“And let us consider each other carefully for the purpose of sparking love and good deeds. Don’t stop meeting together with other believers, which some people have gotten into the habit of doing. Instead, encourage each other, especially as you see the day drawing near.”
The importance of community. The energy that is cultivated when we show up in that community ready to spark love and good deeds. Inspired in creating opportunities for encouraging one another. When we find ourselves questioning whether or not our actions matter we are reminded by the writer of Hebrews that when we show up ready to spark love, engage in good deeds, and encourage one another we are on life’s path with God. When we are living this way we are connecting to what Philippians describe as the attitude of Christ.
Philippians 2:1-5 (CEB)
“Therefore, if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort in love, any sharing in the Spirit, any sympathy, complete my joy by thinking the same way, having the same love, being united, and agreeing with each other. Don’t do anything for selfish purposes, but with humility think of others as better than yourselves. Instead of each person watching out for their own good, watch out for what is better for others. Adopt the attitude that was in Christ Jesus.”
Constantly searching for how we can encourage one another, how we are doing good for others even when we aren’t in the greatest headspace, when we think what is the point is adopting the attitude of Christ. Does it mean we will be as good at it as Christ? No. Does it mean we will get it right every time? No. Does it mean those frustrations and questions will disappear? No. However, it does mean that those frustrations and questions will not have the same power over us because when we respond with a mindset described in Hebrews and Philippians we are living into the attitude of Christ. When we choose to keep encouraging, loving, and drawing people together even as those doubts of being able to change anything arise we are living into the attitude of Christ. So when you feel frustrated, alone, and question whether or not your effort matters in this world, reflect on how you are encouraging, loving, praying and showing up for others.
This discussion reminds me of a song by Joy Oladokun called “Somebody Like Me” that speaks into these moments and reiterates how we can show up for each other. May you be encouraged this day that your efforts of love in this world do matter.
God of every breath of our lives, help us to know your presence when frustrations arise, when we feel alone, when we struggle with how our words and actions matter in the complexity of life. Guide us each moment of our lives in how we may have the attitude of Christ. May our words and actions draw one another together in love and encouragement. May our lives be a reflection of the resurrected Christ. May we as individuals and as the Presbytery of Detroit be embolden to live the way of Christ. Amen.