We were with a group of people recently where someone remarked: “I can’t believe how much depression and anxiety and hopelessness seems loose among so many people, many of them our friends.” We are constantly reminded of the statistics, but we feel it close by as well.

Recognizing these things have always been with us, and recognizing that each case is unique with patterns that are even biological, nevertheless, I can’t help but believe some of this has to do with forces that seem fiercely to press in on us.

I think these days of Wordsworth’s line: “The world is too much with us.” The division, polarization, outright hatred in our world, some of it inflicting our own hearts, the tragedies, the homeless in our neighborhoods, the violence—indeed all of this in our own country. How can we find our way out of all of this too muchness? Guidance is hard to find in a world that dismantles all forms of authority.

In the midst of my reflections and reading and prayer early this morning, I came across the end of Psalm 27. It is astounding to me how many times an answer seems to drop in my lap early in the morning.

I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord!

Under the oppressive cloud of so much funk, how can I locate again what is good? The answer? “I shall see the goodness of the Lord.” It will come. It will show itself yet in the “land of the living,” my own land, my own life, the lives of those I love, the suffering among us. The goodness of the Lord will come. Have confidence, that’s the hard part these days. This poem speaks with incredible confidence.

And then the Psalmist calls on us to wait. Have patience, something not so easy for any of us. “Wait for the Lord.” “Be strong,” gather courage, because you’ll need it in these days. Wait, the poet, repeats, “wait for the Lord.” His goodness will show itself once again.

You may have seen I’ve adopted a new heading for my blog. It now reads: It’s Time To Rise. It is positioned over a great Van Gogh painting labeled “Sower,” an image he painted often in his later, troubled days. I will be exploring in the days ahead what this title and painting mean for me, but somehow I want to rise in the morning ready to sow again something of the Lord’s goodness. I feel this call to rise, to sow, and to wait with patience on the Lord. Goodness will come.

I think too of St. Benedict’s wonderful encouragement to his monks and to all of us: “Let us get up then, at long last, for the Scriptures rouse us when they say: It is high time for us to arise from sleep.”

In all of the funk I was wrestling with this morning, I received an amazing word. I hope this doesn’t sound too simplistic, too glib, even too abstract. It’s time to rise, I remind myself, though the forces are fierce, full of funk and discouragement, forces within and forces without. It’s time to go out with the sower, cast the seed, and wait with confidence on the Lord for something new, for something good to grow once again.