We’re moving on today to some of the positive fresh-thinking qualities I’m growing in the garden that will nourish a resurrection life.
Back in the olden days when I was a student, when computers came in large plastic boxes and mobile phones were carried in suitcases rather than pockets, I hatched a plan with a writer friend one evening, when we were doing everything we could to avoid writing (yes, this sabotage habit goes way back!).
We were grizzling to each other about how difficult the writer’s life is, how disciplined, how focused, how imaginatively engaged you had to be – none of which we were, of course.
The conversation led, as these things often do, to other aspects of our lives that were not going well. Relationships were transitory at best, money scarce, and the prospect of ‘earning a living’ loomed large on the horizon.
And that’s when we hit on it: the idea that would make us our fortune and assure our futures.
‘What was it?’ I hear you ask.
Of course, what else would it be?
And it would be called… *pause for drumroll here* …
Weyhey! That’s it! Job done!
Basically, it would be a place for people to come and whinge, grumble, whine, complain, get rid of all their gripes and, basically, empty themselves of all the negative stuff that was going on in their heads and their lives.
Sound inviting? Doesn’t it just make you want to go straight over there and sign up?
No. Me neither! I can’t imagine what made us think it would be a good idea. Blame the economy, or the folly of youth, or the wine. We weren’t offering any remedies, any bright ideas, anything at all, really. It was just a place where people could wallow in negativity.
Thinking back, although it made us smile, briefly, back then, now it makes me shudder with horror!
Because, basically, what we were offering was a place devoid of hope!
And, without hope, what chance of living a peaceful life do we have? Nil!
Even the word makes you feel better, doesn’t it, as though you can release a big sigh on the ‘H’ and get rid of any pent-up doom and gloom just by giving voice to the word.
Because it’s much more than a word, isn’t it?
It’s what gets us up in the morning, what keeps us going, putting one foot in front of the other, even when all seems futile.
It’s the power behind the motor in our heart, the fire from which your desires spring, the fuel you build your life on – your dreams, your values, your plans.
Without hope, then all we do, all we are, would be pointless. If we thought today was all there is, that we could never change, never grow, never do great things, then we’d give up. There would be no point. Disinterest, disconnection, and ultimately anarchy would reign supreme.
A well-known skincare brand offers a product called ‘Hope in a jar’. I confess I’ve never tried it, but I do wonder just how big a jar it is!
Because I need a lot of hope: hope is one of the wellsprings of my life. I hope for the ‘abundant life’ offered in the Bible; for continued health and happiness and peace; for the wellbeing of my family, my friends, my community, my world; for building a lasting legacy through my life and work; for respect and integrity to replace financial gain and selfish ambition as the measuring-stick of success…
That’s a lot of hope. I’d need an industrial-strength jar.
And now I’m wondering: how big a jar would you need in which to house your hope?