I take a deep breath. In and out. I stop and I pray for calm. I tell myself “This is not a forever moment”.
Hope for me is knowing that hard things don’t last forever, that many situations in our lives are just for now, that things will change. It also helps me to stop and have a go at making changes where I can.
Hope for me is keeping things in perspective, looking out at the horizon and understanding that the world is a big old place and that my ‘little world’ is just a drop in it all. It reminds me to be thankful for so many good things in my life.
Hope for me is remembering that I am not alone. It is cherishing the people that love and care for me. It is also trusting in the One I believe created me and is greater than anything I can imagine.
But I fear for some this may sound too simplistic, too optimistic or perhaps too shallow, particularly in the face of deep trouble, grief, sickness or hardship.
I have found great depth and thought in the writing of Jerome Groopman, M.D. In his book The Anatomy of Hope he writes:
“Many of us confuse hope with optimism, a prevailing attitude that “things turn out for the best”. But hope differs from optimism. Hope does not arise from being told to think positively, or from hearing an overly rosy forecast. Hope is rooted in unalloyed reality. Hope is the elevating feeling we experience when we see – in the mind’s eye – a path to a better future. Hope acknowledges the significant obstacles and deep pitfalls along that path. True hope has no room for delusion. Clear-eyed, hope gives us the courage to confront our circumstances and the capacity to surmount them.”
But what about you, what are your experiences of hope? When has hope been hardest to find? In what ways and in what places have you found hope? How has someone else shone hope into your life when you needed it most? I’d love to hear your thoughts.