The season of gratitude may have come to an end, but Advent followed on its heels. Sitting in church on Sunday, next to a dear friend who had suffered a particularly rough morning and a little tired from the hustle and bustle of Thanksgiving and anticipation of returning to the office on Monday, I was greeted by hope.
We’ve all hoped on one occasion or another. Maybe, as a kid, you shoved your science book under your pillow the night before the test and “hoped” that everything you needed to know would seep into your brain while you slept. You tiptoed into the house after curfew and “hoped” your parents were sleeping deeply. You lectured your kids on the dangers of smoking, drinking, too much television, not taking care of responsibilities, or many of the other evils of the world and “hoped” they never got wind of that time when you and your friends….
The thing with hope though, is that it really isn’t magic or wishful thinking. The science book under the pillow – that would have required some magic. Your kids never figuring out that you made mistakes – really wishful thinking.
Hope is trust. It’s faith. It’s what helps us love others. In the words of Søren Kierkegaard, “Hope is a passion for the possible.” What’s better than passion? Passion is way better than magic. Passion inspires while magic temporarily entertains. In her novel, The Hundred Secret Senses Amy Tan writes, “We dream to give ourselves hope. To stop dreaming – well, that’s like saying you can never change your fate.” Living our flourishing lives is all about the possibility of change. Dream and hope we must.
The teeth in hope comes from our confidence that something will come to pass. It comes from our faith that we will prevail. It doesn’t mean that our lives will be challenge free. Challenges will come. We hope because we know that we can face those challenges and confront them in all of their brutality and prevail. We can courageously stand on our own, lean on others, gather the community together for strength, and dig into hope and believe in the better that we all envision.
WHAT’S YOUR HOPE?
Ifeoma U. Aduba