Some translations say despair, some say meddling and some say discouragement.
I wont even try to go to the Greek or Syrian or whatever this prayer was first written in and figure out the nuances. But just looking in my own life, I can see where they might connect.
What am I really doing when I despair? I am looking at my life and saying that it is hopeless, that all the things I wish for will not come to fruition. I cannot do this, that person will never do that, etc. I heap pronouncements and declarations on everyone around me.
Who am I to say when hope runs out? How can I judge when to give up?
In that way, I am meddling. I am letting my feelings of discouragement meddle with what God has put in my path. I am saying what is good and bad instead of receiving what He gives. I am like the little old lady that sits on her porch gossiping about the neighborhood as they go by. Except the neighborhood is my life and I judge the events as they come my way.
I read a wonderful quote today on Elizabeth's blog that gives us a way out of despair:
All the things in this world are gifts and signs. As gifts, they point beyond themselves to the divine giver. As signs, they point beyond themselves to the God they signify and reveal, as a letter reveals the writer. And since God is love, the one thing everything signifies is God's love to us. The whole world is a love letter from God... (Peter Kreeft)Let us see each thing around us as a gift. The dirty dishes, the fussy baby, the half-done projects. What has God brought to me today?