Hope – It’s Not What You Think
I used to think hope was akin to wishful thinking, until I attended a one day retreat at Mariandale Retreat and Conference Center. Since my personal preference is towards planning, working, and execution of an idea, the concept of hope has never attracted or engaged me. Wishful thinking just seemed to be another obstacle to getting something done. As I discovered, though, if one shifts the definition a little bit, the idea of hope shifts from being irrelevant to being a powerful positive force behind one’s action.
Hope is not:
1. Hope is not just wishful thinking.
2. Hope is not a state of the world. It is a state of mind.
3. Hope is not essentially dependent on a particular observation of the world.
4. Hope is not a positive prognosis or positive forecast.
5. Hope is not the same as the joy that things are going well.
6. Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well, i.e., optimism.
1. Vaclav Havel, the poet, said hope is a state of mind. It is a dimension of the soul. It is an orientation of the spirit and the heart. It transcends the world that is immediately experienced, and is anchored somewhere beyond its horizons. It is an ability to work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed. It is the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out. It gives us the strength to live and continually to try new things, even in conditions that sometimes seem without hope.
" Family In the totalitarian society of Brave New World, the development of human beings is completely controlled by the World State. Each person is raised in a hatchery, where the government controls every stage of their development until maturity, a process that takes Two-hundred and sixty-seven days. The embryos' DNA is controlled chemically to stimulate or to retard their physical and mental ...
2. Erich Fromm said hope is being ready at every moment for that which is not born. Hope cherishes all signs of new life and is an inner readiness, that of intense but not-yet-spent activeness.
3. Emily Dickenson said:
“Hope is a strange invention—
A patent of the Heart—
In unremitting action
Yet never wearing out—.”
4. Martin Luther King said, “We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope.”
5. Pearl S. Buck said, “To eat bread without hope is still slowly to starve to death.”
6. Martin Luther said, “Everything that is done in the world is done by hope.”
7. Lionel Tiger said, “Cathedrals are an unassailable witness to human passion. Using what demented calculation could an animal build such places? I think we know. An animal with a gorgeous genius for hope.”
8. Norman Vincent Peale said, “Hope is wanting something so eagerly that—in spite of all the evidence that you’re not going to get it—you go right on wanting it. And the remarkable thing about it is that this very act of hoping produces a kind of strength of its own.”
So I have learned that hope is much more than wishful thinking. It possesses a heart of anticipation that expects to encounter new opportunities that can assist us in achieving our goals and dreams. But hope presupposes an inherent goodness and significance underlying those hopes and dreams. That goodness and meaning finds its source in our God. As St. Paul said in Ephesians (1:18-20):
“May the eyes of your heart be enlightened, that each of you may know what is the Hope that belongs to God’s call, what are the riches of God’s glory and inheritance. For you have been raised up to carry God’s Hope to all peoples, and to do so in true humility and gentleness of spirit.”