3 if 7:HOPE

gettysburg10One of the hardest things for me to teach in English was grammar. For most students, it is tedious, boring and a “When-will-I-ever-use-this-so-why-do-I-have-to-know-it” exercise. I understand that thought process. In Mrs. Swartzwalter’s 8th grade English class, I was thinking approximately the same thing – especially when we started diagramming sentences. But the more we did it, the more it suddenly began to make sense. Parts of speech began to organize themselves in my brain and the visual pictures of diagraming started sub-sets of categories that served as an invaluable resouce when I became a teacher.

Hope can be a noun or a verb. A person, place or thing or an action. Needless to say, because it has been used so often down through the ages, forms of it have also branched off into the adjective [hopful] and adverb [hopfully] forms as well. I can only HOPE this makes sense.

Moses HOPED to see the promised land. Jacob HOPED to reunite with Esau. David HOPED to build a temple. Zarcharias HOPED to have a child. Simeon and Anna HOPED to meet the saviour before they died. A woman HOPED to be healed. Jesus HOPED that He would not have to drink from the cup. We all have HOPES, dreams, aspirations. We all trust at some point in time that our aspirations or dreams will come to fruition in our life times..

“…but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.…” Rom 8:24b-25

In the Bible, HOPE is more a verb than anything else. It is not a passive wish. It is not idle. It is not just sitting in our living room, watching TV, waiting for it to arrive in our lives. It is not an escape from reality. If our HOPE is Biblical, it is based on the trust that all God’s promises will be fullfilled. That kind of HOPE directs our paths into action – how we see ourselves – what values we hold – what we do with our time and gifts. Hope is active.

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I’ve heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me. ~ Emily Dickinson, 1861light-hope_00332387

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