The one thing you can’t live without

Don’t ever say things can’t get worse. At least not aloud.

The cosmos will prove you wrong. It can and often does.

When life does indeed “get worse,” you quickly discover the things you can live without. It’s like a giant loofa exfoliates your entire life.

There’s sleep for starters. Going without sleep is never pleasant, but it is doable for a time. Power naps are vastly underrated.

Sit-down meals with real food and real dishes are dispensable. A bite here and bite there will get you through a crushing day. Oh look! An old protein bar in the glove box!

You can even do without a change of clothes if you must.

A friend used to spritz her little girls with fragrance when there wasn’t time to bathe them, change their clothes or do their hair. They may not have looked their best, but they smelled good.

Tightly-honed schedules can become dispensable as well. It’s hard to function without order, but nearly every mess can wait a little while. You can hurdle toys and shoes, ignore dirty dishes crusting over and snub laundry waiting for the washing machine.

We can manage without sleep, full meals, a fresh change of clothes, schedules, organization and even coffee, but there is one thing we cannot live without.


Hope is the magnetic force that pulls us forward—through disappointment, grief, broken hearts, health crisis, horrific accidents and job loss.

Hope is a lifeline, a very thin one sometimes, but a lifeline nonetheless. Hope whispers that the storms will one day pass.

Hope fuels courage and even a healthy sort of defiance. Hope hears a dire diagnosis—and seeks a second opinion. Hope eyes bleak odds and goes for it anyway. Hope is the tornado victim digging through rubble searching for an unbroken piece of the past.

In the mid-60s, a time of unrest, upheaval and uncertainty, Hal David and Burt Bacharach wrote a song that became a classic. “What the world needs now is love, sweet love. It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of.” Perhaps what the world needs now is hope, sweet hope.

This week, Christians around the world celebrate hope. More than 2,000 years ago, the followers of Christ watched their every hope die as the one they loved was crucified and buried. They sheltered together, grieving and bewildered, wondering what next.

Three days later, some women went to the tomb, found the stone rolled away and the tomb empty except for the burial cloths. The shock of that unexpected find would lead to the traditional Easter greeting of “He is risen. He is risen, indeed.”

Hope often lies behind stone walls of grief, despair and seemingly impossible circumstances. Christians around the world celebrate Resurrection Sunday remembering that their hope is in a person, Jesus Christ who, though out of sight, is never out of reach.

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