What does it look like to discover joy and hold on to hope amid all of *this*?
1 million miles.
That’s how far away hope can feel at times. I remember other seasons of life when hope seemed as alien as the stars in the night sky; more illusion than accessible reality. A fiction beyond what I was capable of seeing in those moments, times when life had beaten me down or broken my heart in ways I didn’t know I could shatter.
This is part of the human experience though, isn’t it?
At times we are full of hope, brimming with anticipation at the endless possibilities of the path we are on. But during others, hope feels as foreign as the celestial bodies — impossibly out of reach. The tension between these vastly different moments and learning to live well amid both is embedded in each of our stories and where we find ourselves all too often.
Because if you were to ask someone “How are you?”, often you’d get back an answer which reflects that current of life somewhere in the middle; neither overcome with hopelessness nor overflowing with abundant hope. Life along the center of this bell curve is an endless tug-of-war between the hopeful prospect of what is to come and utter despair.
There are moments when we move full-tilt into one extreme or the other. Periods where all hope seems lost and darkness is closing in from all sides, and others when hope abounds and is cascading out from the edges of life. But most of the time we have to learn to navigate the in-between, juggling a mix of feelings across the spectrum of emotion.
Hope, it turns out, is the fuel of the soul. We need it in the same way we need air, and in its absence everything in our world falls apart and begins to suffocate. This is why finding hope and holding fast to it is paramount, especially with so many forces vying for our attention and seeking to pull us away from the goodness we find — it is vital to allow our souls to thrive.
But more than just nourishment for the heart, or a requirement for survival, hope is the gateway to joy. After a global pandemic, years of unprecedented political turmoil, and a bleak outlook for the path humanity is moving toward…joy feels like something we each need right now perhaps more than ever…