Having witnessed this insidious cycle of comings and goings in myself and others, I have have no doubt that hope makes ALL the difference. As we share our deep desire to see Hope arise and become the norm and not the passing guest, we realize we’re not alone. The desire is that hope would be more a permanent inner fixture and not the seasonal passer-by. However, the “no,” the slight, the unexpected expense and even the mundane sneak in and we find ourselves saying: “Thanks for showing up hope, but it seems like I just can’t count on you.” Dreams be damned!
I have no doubt that some may read this and think, “I don’t get this!” (Actually, they probably won’t bother reading this. Who am I kidding?) I have friends who tell me that they tend to live on “even keel” and don’t experience much in the way of ups or downs. One friend shared that he has a hard time empathizing. His wife has at times shared that she doesn’t feel “understood” by him. He rolls his eyes.
On the other hand, I know others who must intentionally work on fanning the flames of hope as a life-discipline. One extremely creative leader shared that he continually needs to do whatever it takes to restore hope in his life Over breakfast we came up with a name for those of us who require regular hope infusions: “High maintenance souls.” “Like Jaguar’s old 12 cylinder X-J12″ I told him, “we can be high performance. We just need more regular tune-ups or we’re no good to anyone!”
So, how come we see the promise land on the horizon at one moment only to allow the arrows pierce our armor and experience hope bleeding out and running down our legs? Is there hope for the high maintenance soul? Can we be free to dream, lead, create and be productive again today? Tomorrow? Next year?
Yes. And No. Here’s the no: If we think that we can just hum along without attending to the state of our hope, there’s not much hope. Ignoring the state of the “us in us” never seems to work…. at least long term. Also, medicating with pills just masks the deeper issues. (though, there may be seasons where this is important) Just trying harder with nose to the grindstone doesn’t restore hope. Reading the typical “just be positive” books listening to hyped motivational talks doesn’t work…at least for long. A couple of pep talks won’t keep hope alive (though I do love Kid President.) And even more money, more recognition, more…. stuff doesn’t do it.
We can’t address a spiritual issue with non-spiritual solutions. Hope to keep dreaming and persevering under pressure springs from God Himself. As has been said: No God: No Hope. Know God: Know Hope. The more intentionally and regularly we access the God of Hope… the more we will access the Hope of God. On the other side of this complex and costly problem is a simple solution.
The most creative breakthroughs in our lifetime will come from those who hoped in God. Just watch! And you may be one of those people. But will you do what it takes to keep your hope alive?
More to come on this topic: But for today, what would it look like for you to access hope, by accessing the Hope source?