I have a friend I love being around. When I am in his presence, I am energized! There are facts that would suggest that this could not be true. He is older. He has had his fair share of health challenges. He is in a job that automatically comes with never ending stress, deadlines, and demands.
Every time we meet, I walk away with a smile. It could be as simple as an email exchange. On any given occasion, the note could be an insight, a positive observation, or simply an update, I find myself smiling and reflecting on my improve sight line to hope. When we meet in person, I always know I will come away smiling and energized! It is a gift that transcends uncertainties, sickness, or interim obstacles.
As I think of the contrast, the obvious stares at me. There are the others in the crowd. Candidly, “no good is going to come from that crowd; they spend all their time cooking up gossip against those who mind their own business.” (Psalm 35.20) A single individual against the odds always comes with hope, metaphorically challenging the group that cannot seem to do anything but maliciously gossip. It is a contrast that is not always noticed. Once you have been touched, you are changed forever.
I wish I could say that I give others a consistent experience of hope. For a few I do, but for others it is a relationship filled with seasons. Some help, others do not. I could join the negative crowd, beating myself up with each weakness or failure. The example of Hope reminds me that there is an alternative. It comes with several ongoing reminders.
Even at our best, each will fail or exhibit a weakness. While we can hate failure, always remember to love the individual – especially if it is you.
If we can hold Hope’s hand, even when we are tired or struggling, others will find it helpful.
Steps matter. It is the process of living in the moment, with or without hope, that creates our destination.