Man wakes from 3-year coma, commits to sharing message of hope.
Why the gospel of peace is awakening me this year more than ever before.
Pandemic coma. Grief coma. The coma of parenting young kids. In the last few months I feel like I’ve slowly awakened from a trifecta of circumstances, uniquely intertwined.
And my eyes are opened. I feel awakened.
Now don’t get me wrong. Even as I’ve experienced some of the darkest and most challenging times, life has been good. With my family I’ve even flourished in these past few years which have been unlike anything many of us have experienced before.
However (and forgive me for dropping another metaphor so soon), there was a sense of being buried, as if by an avalanche. And while cocooned and breathing under a mountain of displaced snow, my little rescue beacon pinging quietly with hope, I suddenly feel extracted.
With no disrespect to people in actual comas (or to avalanche survivors) if “coma” is the name of your season and you’re saying, “I am that man! I am that woman! Buried, comatose,” here are a few thoughts for you.
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The switch into a new year isn’t quite enough
As if by rote, the arrival of a new year permits us to reawaken, throw things off, wake up. It’s like we pass “Go” on the Monopoly board and collect new vision. It’s a right and a rule.
Exercise regimes, renewed vision and goals.1 Whether we keep them or not, I love this engrained ritual.
However, the cyclical nature of the seasons isn’t always enough to wake us from the coma or extract us from the avalanche. It’s not just time that brings the awakening or the healing.
I’m aware, as I walk forward into 2024, of a unique equation that solved my coma problems.
Time + the gospel of peace = awakened hope
What I love about this equation is that time includes past, the present and the future. And when the gospel of peace is added to time, it can transform everything.
Hope can awaken and renew right now, in this moment.
And not only that, hope can be infused into the past, redeeming the things you see in the rearview mirror, while projecting excitement and anticipation for everything you see in the the windshield in front of you.
A verse from scripture that jumped out of me and intertwined with my spirit in 2023 was from Isaiah. He got a picture of God’s glory and what it means in the midst of great trouble. And the good news (the gospel) created a bridge of hope for his people to walk upon, out of the despair of their circumstances and into the future:
he will be the stability of your times, abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is Zion's treasure. ~ Isaiah 3:6 (see v. 2-6 and your heart might just grow two sizes bigger)
Putting on peace like shoes for the feet
As I move forward into the new year, I’m mulling the word peace.
Peace is a path. The word in the Greek, as used by the great writers, implies movement and activity. Shoes are required to walk in it, different ones for different moments, seasons, ventures.
Peace is an activity. The shoes of peace we put on allow us to perpetuate peace itself. Equip us to herald and inhabit it.
If you feel buried or comatose, overwhelmed or stuck the good news is that there’s footwear you can strap on so that you can walk out of that terrain.
No matter where you’re right now, you can know peace. And walk in it all year long.
Petra and I take time every year to write out our goals. When we cozied up together at a table at a local coffee shop at the end of December, we looked over past goals, amazed at what we can accomplish together and on our own, when we vision cast each year. (We’re two weeks into our test of waking at 5 am and going to bed earlier, flipping our schedules, as it were, and loving this choice which is helping us achieve our main goals of personal wellness: both spiritual and physical).