September 4   

Today's quotation:

Hope arouses, as nothing else can arouse, a passion for the possible.

William Sloan Coffin, Jr.

Today's Meditation:

There have been times when I've felt that I had run out of hope.  Those were the darkest of days, for my loss of hope meant that I saw no way out of any current problems I might have had, that I saw no possibility of change for the better in my situations.  When hope was gone, then it seemed impossible that anything would get any better at all, and that was truly a miserable feeling.  Fortunately, that never lasted long because I forced myself to look for hope, to convince myself that things would, indeed, get better.  If I hadn't been able to do that, I don't know what would have happened.

Hope is our capacity for recognizing that somewhere in the future, things will work themselves out for the better, my efforts will come to fruition, my tenacity and perseverance will be rewarded.  Hope is knowing that even if what I want to happen, doesn't happen, things will be okay, and probably even better.  When I know this, I can move from being passive to being active, trying to bring about the best possible outcome from the situation.

Hope helps us to tolerate the down times or the bad behaviors because we know that things will get better and people will learn.  We have to embrace hope, though-- we have to invite it in, trusting that it won't let us down.  We have to foster it and keep it strong because if we don't, it will wither and die.  It's not a self-regenerating element; it needs us to help it not just to survive, but to prosper and flourish.

Hope can be your best friend, your most loyal friend.  Sometimes you may not understand what it's trying to tell you or how it can be so positive in negative times, but that's okay-- we don't have to understand hope to let it do its thing.  Give hope a chance in your life and treat it well, and it will give you many gifts that will brighten your life considerably.

Questions to consider:

Why do we so often give up on hope?

Is it realistic to think that we need to keep our hopes realistic?  What happens if we hope for something that we're sure won't come to pass?

How has hope helped you in your life?

For further thought:

Hope works in these ways: it looks for the good in people instead of harping on the worst; it discovers what can be done instead of grumbling about what cannot; it regards problems, large or small, as opportunities; it pushes ahead when it would be easy to quit; it "lights the candle" instead of "cursing the darkness."

unattributed

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