Hope is a Muscle

1390088403gge52Sometimes we experience wishful thinking and mistake it for hope. But hope is so much better than dreaming, even despite our culture’s claims to the contrary.

When I was in college, my stars were aligning. I wasn’t so popular in High School. But by the end of my freshman year of college, I had been voted prince of the homecoming court (you can’t be king until your senior year). I was prince sophomore year. And prince Junior year. I understood the feeling that, somehow, your time has finally come, in great way.

When my senior year had rolled around, I had expected to be voted on to the homecoming court again, and I was. I wanted to win. So when the moment arrived, we were waiting in the wings of the ceremonial stage. One by one they called the names of the others. They walked down into their spotlight. Now it was just me and the final candidate. I was wishing with all my heart for the victory. I had planned out how I would turn and place the king’s crown at the foot of the wooden cross, which they had mounted on the stage. My speech was tuned. And then, before my final competitor, they called me. It was bad news. I didn’t win. I came up short. If you had asked me then, I might have said that my hopes were dashed. But that’s not what had happened. My dreams were shattered. My hope was was challenged and getting a wakeup call.

Hope is not a dream or a wish, despite what the Disney song might lead you to believe. “A dream is a wish your heart makes…if you keep on believing, the dream that you wish will come true.” It’s awful advice. Hope is much better. Hope is a muscle you have. It can get stronger or weaker. When you have strong hope, you have steadfastness, immovability, trusting that whatever you do in God’s name is not in vain (1 Cor. 15.58). When your hope is week you are like a rudderless boat tossed about by the wind and the waves. My dreams of prestige were shattered, but that night began a tremendous journey of loss for me, which has since strengthened my heart. It was the beginning of me learning to put my hope in things that could sustain my steadfastness (In my experience the primary outlet worthy of your hope is God). I started the path towards being an immovable force for good in the lives of those around me. While I still have a lot of room to grow, and while sometimes my hope still fails me, it has now become a branch, on which the birds of the air can make their nests.

Hope is:

  • A muscle you have, that get grow stronger or get weaker.
  • Hope grows weak when when you misplace it in something that cannot sustain hope.
  • Hope grown strong when placed in something worthy of your hope.

Have you had any of your dreams shattered to find that your hope was misplaced? What kind of things do you see people putting their hope in that cannot sustain hope? What are some things worthy of your hope?

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