- Hope inspires vision, fuels activity, and incites teamwork and camaraderie.
- Hope is a dangerous thing; it can stoke the embers of a dying dream, awaken a love long forgotten, and/or fuel disappointment when things go wrong.
- Hope is grounded in possibility…
I often call my self a possiblitiarian, as I am an “all in, pedal to the medal, there’s a pony in here somewhere…” kind of hoper!
Am I naïve?
Recently, I watched the movie Shawshank Redemption, for the umpteenth time, and the next morning, I woke up with these words, “I hope…” running through my mind. They are spoken by one of the main characters, Red, as the movie ends. (If you haven’t seen it, run don’t walk to your remote and boot up Netflix, as it is a MUST see movie.)
If you know the movie, HOPE is something Red has given up on, and refuses to entertain due to his circumstances. And honestly, it makes sense. Red’s circumstances are dire, and for the most part out of his control. To protect his heart, and maybe even his sanity, Red refuses to hope.
I have been there…
- Afraid to hope,
- Unwilling to hope.
- Don’t want to get out of bed in the morning, kind of hopelessness. (That’s when the hubby knows it’s really bad, when I can’t find a shred of hope – for a possibilitarian, that is a scary place to be.)
One rainy night, I was driving home from my girlfriend’s house, when a drunk driver ran a red light and totaled my Volvo wagon. Being rushed to the hospital, I remember the paramedic saying, “It’s going to be okay, God and Volvo saved your life.”
The damage to my body was extensive, and the goal for the first 6 weeks of Physical Therapy was for me to be able to simply stand up straight!! Forget the fact that I was a runner, and a very active mom of three young kids. Hope didn’t float- it landed with a dull thud as I looked at my prognosis and future.
Anxiety, depression, sorrow, loss, grief, struggle, broken or tense relationships, failed endeavors, and dire circumstances all fuel the fire of hopelessness. And like Red, we find ourselves shutting down -calling it “wiser, more realistic or even more mature,” – to give up the “foolishness” of hope.
But what if the “foolishness” of hope is essential to life.
Wouldn’t you agree that hope awakens us to risk, even when were are scared?
- Hope is terrifying because it opens us up to disappointment, and I would rather avoid that, thank you very much!
- But hope is necessary, maybe not essential like oxygen, but it’s up there with water and chocolate for life to be rich and fulfilling.
I think about the Proverbs 29:18, “Without hope/vision the people perish,” and I get it. Little by little dreams die, relationships stagnate, life become stale. We may feel safe and buffered in our bubble of control, but we are not fully alive. Living without hope shields us from disappointment, sure! But… what else do we miss out on?
- Hope fuels all our creative and life giving efforts.
- Hope inspires us to engage, risk, dream, try, and try again!
- Hope changes us.
Life overflows with things we can’t control, circumstances that derail us, successes and failures at work, home, and in relationships. However, we can control our response to the roller coaster of life. We can choose to awaken our hope and allow it to move us forward- afraid, knees knocking, heart racing, but forward none the less.
So today…”I Hope…”
Will you join me?
What are your hoping for? Where does hope scare you and shut you down? What one thing can you do today to move you towards hope in action? Share your thoughts and comments below and let’s chat!
Me: this post is my first step!