Hope comes in unusual places, often when we are least expecting it to arrive or are not even looking. When we search for hope our frameworks are often shaped by our understanding and biases so the search continues, well after our confidence has ended.
Major corporate events, decisions usually, are often anticlimactic. Anticipation builds, hope finds it roots, and things began to slow down and stop. With a brief flurry and fanfare the late announcement is made and things return to almost the same place they were before the process began. Even with the name change nothing really changes.
Political elections are often about changing names, not policies. Sure the rhetoric changes and with that shifts groups who are confident and hopeful. Yet with time one finds that what is replaced is little more than symbolic dressing on the foundations. It is as if there is so much momentum that rhetoric and sincere belief is not enough. It takes more to really change things and bring lasting hope.
Even as a cynic, I find myself part of the masses and getting excited with potential changes that carry hope. Bring a new player to my favorite football team and my hope rises! Change the corporate organization and hope expands. Take a political stand on principle instead of just popularity poles and people celebrate. But I don’t think we are any more plugged into what is real hope than when “the Galileans welcomed him [Jesus], but only because they were impressed with what he had done in Jerusalem during the Passover Feast, not that they really had a clue about who he was or what he was up to.” (John 4.45)
What gives me hope? I find hope in the smile of a child who has discovered something beautiful in an ugly and painful world. I discover a renewed sense of purpose with the sound of a thank-you. I discover my faith rekindled when an old friend asked for a real hug of hello.
God loves you; see how many different ways you are given real hope today.