While Victor Hugo was in enforced exile, persecuted by France, it is said that he would climb a cliff overlooking the harbor at sunset, select a pebble, and meditate for a time before finally throwing it into the water. He seemed to gain great satisfaction in performing this simple ritual every night. Local children had sometimes watched him as he threw these pebbles into the water. One evening, one of them grew bold enough to ask, “Why do you come here to throw these stones?” Hugo smiled gravely. After a moment’s silence, he answered quietly, “Not stones, my child. I am throwing self-pity into the sea.”
Maybe some of us need some pebbles to throw into the sea as well. I know there are moments when I sure do.
We all face difficult situations in life. We all go through times of heartache and trouble. And we have to ask: how am I going to face these moments? How am I going to get through this? Am I going to let bitterness or cynicism or self-pity take over? Or, am I going to throw self-pity in the sea, look for the good, and trust God to give me the courage and strength to persevere?
If you feel the edge of bitterness or cynicism or self-pity begin to creep in, I pray today that you would find some pebbles, find some water, make sure no one is in your way, and cast those stones as far out as you can.
Let us pray: Loving God, we claim the promise of the Apostle Peter – that if we cast our cares on you, you will care for us. We lay aside in this moment, any discouragement we may be feeling. Help us, O Lord to notice the good, the positive, the beautiful. Give us the ability to see beyond ourselves. Grant us the courage and strength we need to live with joy this day. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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