“Without hope, we live on a low level, disturbing ourselves with petty cares, distracting ourselves with petty joys.” – Charlotte Mason
Once again, it is ‘back to school’ for millions of students. Parents dutifully supply pencils, book bags, lunches, gym clothes and a dozen other needed things. Teachers assign seats and distribute books. The best will bring to their students the gift of hope.
Contrary to common use, hope is not the yearning to fulfill every chance desire (e.g., I hope to have ice cream tonight.) Not every chance desire is worth fulfilling. Any teacher will tell you that the child who always gets what he wants terrorizes both himself and others.
Hope is a complex thing, part idea and part emotion. There are truths to be named and passions to be flamed.
Created in the image of God, every person has a wonderful capacity to "appropriate to self the world as a great inheritance." All may learn and grow, serve and love, enjoy the good as the good is meant to be enjoyed, resist evil as evil is meant to be resisted. While there are perils which may lead to devastation and ruin; by God's grace, none of these perils are invincible. Darkness may come, but we may shine in the darkness. These are the ideas of hope.
But, hope is part emotion, and emotions are caught like the flu. To catch hope, we must be with people of hope. To spread hope, we must be infectious. Beware "sitting in the seat of scoffers." Beware being a "scoffer."
And, let us bring the gift of hope.