Why does hope matter?
Hope, it takes on many forms. It may come as a dream, and though it may be only a faint dream, lacking the proper framework to take full form, it can spark an excitement inside of us all the same.
Hope reveals itself at the first light of dawn, as the ebony sky enters into the technicolor experience of sunrise.
And other times, hope is spoken into our lives. Perhaps these are encouragements from a friend or spoken figuratively from the pages of a book. In all of these scenarios, hope comes as a call, beckoning to us for a response.
The greatest dreams in my life, have taken place in my waking hours. I remember the first time I wanted to take my family to Disneyland for the first time. It started as just a thought, like a cloud passing by in the sky. I did not just let this cloud dissipate though, I followed it. I kept my eyes on it long enough to see that it was not actually formless, but that it contained an entire framework inside of it.
This little dream, this El Sueñito (for my In The Heights fans reading this), took form daily in my mind. When work would get a little mundane, or I’d find myself in a long task, my mind would wander within this idea of a family Disney trip. This little dream sparked excitement inside of my heart, and my mind would be actively anticipating the soon-to-be reality.
The only way this dream would become a reality though was through the active pursuit of making it so. Sure the images of my wife and daughters entering into the magical world of Disneyland with eyes wide with wonder and excitement were powerful enough to bring a background joy, that joy would inevitably fade if I did not at least try and make it a reality; so the pursuit began.
It took saving money, scheduling time off with work, finding places to stay, doing any research I could on how to have the most impressionable first visit to Disneyland for my family. In this case, we made it happen, and have continued to make happen as much as could as the years go on. This little dream provided hope through anticipation, and hopes became reality through the active pursuit.
I write about the dawn often. This website was originally titled Dark Roast Dawns. It was a little on the nose for a blogging site, but you need to start somewhere. The mornings are my time to create, it is the space where it seems like the whole world is asleep, and I am in a sacred space for connection. As the sun begins to break the horizon, the sky bursts into a beautiful array of colors. In these moments, hope thrives inside of me.
I began blogging after my dad died in 2016, and his passing hit me hard. I found myself in a desperate need to both grieve the loss, and find a way to believe that the hole he left in my heart would eventually be filled. This longing made the sunrises feel all the more necessary. The beauty of the dawn helped me embrace the beauty of memories and thoughts of the impact I want to have in this life.
The sun rises every day (not always the case in Alaska, I know), and it can be taken as a burden that makes us get on with our day, or it can be seen as an opportunity for newness. For me, new thoughts, new possibilities, and new perspectives bring me to hope with the dawn.
“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” – A proverb from the Bible
The hope I have gained from the words of those I trust have proven to be invaluable, for they have both added fuel to my already raging fire of ambition as well as pulled me from the pits of despair. During a dark night of the soul, word of my despair had traveled to the ears of a good friend. The following day, he invited me over for some breakfast and hang time. I figured that he caught wind of my struggle, hence the perfect timing of his invite, and our time together moved from leisurely banter to a deep dive into the wells of my soul.
He offered wisdom and practical actions that could help deliver me from the pits and likely set me back on a path of wellness. We spoke of defining our values in life and the importance of being living connected to those values. The time with my friend and the words he spoke to me brought me hope and renewed strength to carry on.
About a week later, another friend heard of my despair and took me out on a creek adventure. In the middle of our hike, he paused and told me that he heard about my dark night of the soul. He also said that our friendship is the kind that demands we rely upon and reach out to each other in times of need, and that going to that dark place again without reaching out would be unacceptable. He offered confirmation of connection rather than encouragement or advice, yet my eyes welled with joy as I felt truly not alone at that moment.
Why Does Hope Matter?
I’d imagine that a ship with no wind in its sails falls idle, and though the sea is where a ship belongs, it must be able to navigate the waters and have a reason to set sail. So it is with hope. This life is in constant motion, and time does not wait for us. We are sailors of those ships, and we can weather many storms, and find joy in the stillness of the waters, yet we need to move towards destinations. We need to be able to harness hope so that dreams become reality, and that a new day becomes a new opportunity.
We are the voices of hope that others need. We can be the wind in the sails. No matter which way you spin it, life is not easy, yet we can handle it with ease if we lean into the values of hope and love. In love, we desire to bring hope. In love, we can receive hope. In hope, we find momentum for this life.