Where does your help come from?

October 13, 2023

“I lift up my eyes to the hills…where does my help come from?”

That wistful cry from the Hebrew Scriptures (Psalm 121:1) has always been so evocative for me. The author is scanning the horizon wondering if someone (God?) will ride down to render aid in their moment of terror or struggle.

At this very moment, people all over the world are voicing similar pleas. Victims of monstrous earthquakes in Morocco and Afghanistan, floods in Libya, famine in Yemen, fires in Maui and, of course, the atrocities and war in Israel and Gaza.

Sometimes the weight of compounding tragedies feels like more than I can bear. Several nights ago, while waiting for our rehearsal to begin, a fellow cast member (The Music Man) and I found ourselves discussing all of this world tragedy. After a few moments of conversation, I looked up and realized that 4 or 5 others, overhearing us, had moved in to join the dialogue. All of us are looking to the hills.

Of course, our desire for help and guidance is also at a more personal level, is it not? While engulfed in the macro terror of a broken world we, frequently, must also find ways of fixing our personal issues. We all have holes in our buckets needing repair.

In my previous two newsletters and blog posts I reflected on how to fill the bucket of energy and vitality which is our daily life, and how to identify the holes that drain our life passion and joy from us.  Before you read on, take a few minutes and read those two posts if you haven’t yet.

Now, assuming you wish to live more fully with sufficient energy, drive and satisfaction…what are you going to do first to patch the holes of your bucket? Where will your help come from? From my perspective of nearly 50 years of guiding and mentoring others, here is where your help will come from.

The will.

Plugging the holes that drain your vitality and wellness does require that you rise up and get to work. You must exert your will, establish personal goals and enter into new habits that will stop the loss. Sorry. No getting around the fact that you must acquire grit and determination.

The community.

Your help comes from people. On one end of the people spectrum are experts…doctors, therapists, clergy, and coaches…who can guide you in shoring up the weak spots in your bucket. On the other end of the people spectrum are friends who simply offer encouragement and understanding on your journey. In between are family and mentors who have a deep interest in your well-being. Look to the hills and you’ll see your people urging you on!

The transcendent.

Sometimes even the loving guidance of others coupled with determined personal effort isn’t enough to fully repair the walls of your bucket. You need the touch of something or someone beyond you. Something mysterious. Something spiritual that can bring meaning to your struggle. For you, is that God?

Over the next month, I plan to explore each of those sources of help in more depth. I want you to have hope that the holes in your bucket, indeed, can be repaired. Then you can go about refilling and replenishing the passion, joy and vitality that make you the wonder that you are!


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