Yesterday, we talked about how you can't just jump to hope on any Saturday. You have to wait until the second Saturday, so that there is an appropriate space for grief. Then, you can circle back to hope if you get around the sixth or seventh Saturday and Sunday still hasn't come; that way, you create space to learn how to live again in the waiting.
And I said that you need to wait until the thirtieth Saturday to bring it back around again, but we didn't really get to that yesterday, so here we are today.
It's not really the thirtieth; I picked an arbitrary number that indicates a long-ish time. The point is this: clinging perpetually to hope will inhibit your ability to live in the now, so you can't just spend all of your Saturdays waiting on Sundays; you'll miss too much of your life this way. And when you miss your life, you also miss the blessings and the joy and the growth and the lessons and all that God has planned for you on Saturday. And I promise you - He has plans for Saturday.
At the same time, though, you can never let yourself be convinced that Saturday is Sunday. That since it's been so long, this is the best that things are ever going to be again and you might as well accept it and settle into it. If you don't hold onto some hope for Sunday, so much of the goodness that God wants to show you gets thrown out, too.
So when we get in these seasons of long Saturdays, these times when things are rough and aren't as we want them to be and we really just want things to change, to get better, we have to both learn how to live in them so that we don't miss out, but we also have to have these perpetual, but not constant, reminders that this is not how things are supposed to be. Reminders that Sunday is a-comin'.
Because we lose track of it. Our trial becomes so much our day-to-day truth that we lose sight of the Truth that this is still Saturday. We become so accustomed to our broken life that we figure this is just how it is, and we forget that it could ever be different. Or better. We forget that it ever was. We forget that we ever had hope for anything else, and it's strange, but you can hear some of us talking about how this has always been our life, even if that's not objectively true. We just...don't remember any other way.
Remembering would make us too hopeful, or too despaired, and now, we're back to point one all over again - where we're living too much for tomorrow and missing out on every single today. Or, at the very least, trudging through every Saturday with absolute misery for no other reason than that it's not Sunday.
That's no way to live.
So we introduce hope on the second Saturday, after an appropriate time to grieve. I don't think the disciples really understood that first Sunday, to be honest with you. I don't think they understood until there were fish frying on the seashore and someone talking to them on the road. I don't think that first Sunday made sense to their hearts.
Then, we come back to hope somewhere around the sixth or seventh Saturday, when it's been going on longer than we anticipated, and we've been able to settle into a new kind of normal, but we need this reminder that it's still temporary. That even though we've found a way to live, we weren't meant to live this way. It eases our souls a little to know this.
Finally, we keep coming back to hope every now and then as time draws on and we're stuck in Saturday. We live in today, and we recognize today for all that it is (and all that it isn't), but we keep bringing up these little reminders of hope because we need reminded from time to time that Sunday's still coming...and that this isn't it.