When I was pregnant with the littlest Luit, I attended a Bible study, the focus of which was HOPE. Sounds so simple, doesn’t it? Each week we looked at Psalms to discover the nuances of these four small letters, strung together with so much heft they could raise mountains.
What does it mean to HOPE?
HOPE is one of those words that’s easy to throw around, but like water, it’s hard to catch in a net. We hope to get a good grade. We hope to make it on time. We hope to find a million dollars and the secret to everlasting happiness, which we usually hope (assume) go hand in hand; I’m willing to test the theory.
But what do we really mean when we hope? And is there a difference between a hope based on wishes and a hope based on something else entirely?
In the Psalms, hope is not a genie in a bottle bringer of three wishes. Hope is not a whim for salvation from enemies. Hope is a strong tower, a defense, a first and last resort and it is unmoving. Unmoving. Hope is certain, sure and promised. Hope is not a fly by night half intentioned prayer for lunch money. It is a gut deep reliance on a truth that evades understanding.
You know there’s a running story coming, don’t you?
Today, I hovered the cursor over the button. It said, REGISTER NOW! its blue and green hues practically daring me, virtually assuring my victory, if I’d just click that tempting little button. So, like I do, I clicked the button. It’s official. I have registered to run a marathon. Twenty six point two miles. On my own feet.
I don’t wish to finish. I don’t think I’ll maybe sort of give it a try. I won’t simply show up at the starting line and give it a go. I will prepare. I will run, and run and run. I will rest. And run some more. I have HOPE that I will finish, a true hope, because I will have done the work. It might not be pretty. It might hurt. I might say swears. But I will cross that finish line, on my own two feet because I will have my mind and my heart and my body set on the sustaining work I will have already done. I have HOPE of crossing the line. Oh, it will happen.
What’s hope? How do you define it? Oh, and if you want to give me gold stars during my marathon training, you go right ahead. I will need them all.