To All The Cynics
Hope is defined as “The feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best.” You hope for something that isn’t your reality, in that very moment. It’s the outward and upward look. The glorious promise of a new future. All of which keeps you moving in one direction. Hope is the fuel for the fire that burns deep inside of you.
Yet, hope isn’t real. Not real in the sense of being able to touch it, hear it, taste it, smell it and see it. Hope is the desire for what you want to touch, hear, taste, smell and see. Hope is the design of reality, as you want it to be. Over and above the realness of your current reality.
Herein lies the rub of hope: In order to change your reality, in order to actually begin to experience that for which you hope, you have to do more than simply hope. You have to act. For the only way to live into your hope is to act.
To move from hoping to action is hard. Acts require you to get outside of your comfort zone. For if you ever dream of having your reality transformed into your hope, thus becoming your new reality, you can’t continue to do the same things that you have always done.
This all seems simple enough. Yet, if it were that simple everyone would be doing it. There have been countless people that haven’t and aren’t living into their hope. People sitting around hoping for something better. Hoping for a new way of living, a new perspective, a new life. But not doing anything different in order to live into that hope.
Thus, there must be something that prevents people from living into their hope? An ocean that must be sailed. A mountain that must be scaled. A bridge that must be built. The truth is this, there is more than one something preventing people from living into their hope. There are three major realities that put an end to hope: apathy, indifference and cynicism.
Apathy is a “lack of interest, enthusiasm or concern.” Apathy is a hope crusher. If you don’t experience immediate gratification, in your hopeful pursuits, you will lose interest and enthusiasm. This isn’t a crack on you, it’s a crack on human nature. You want what you want and you want what you want, right now. And if you don’t get it right now you will lose interest.
It’s a matter of momentum. A rolling stone will only go downhill. Yet, hope requires patience and perseverance. Especially when that for which you hope faces an uphill climb. For you can’t always get what you want, when you want it.
Once one loses interest and enthusiasm it’s a slippery slope into indifference. Indifference is a “lack of interest, concern or sympathy”. Indifference is very much like apathy, with one major distinction; a lack of sympathy.
Sympathy is agreement with or approval of an opinion or aim. Once your agreement with or approval of that for which you hope is gone, you begin to lose sight of who you could be and what you could experience. You then begin to settle for good enough. Rationalization creeps in and you convince yourself that what you hoped for was unrealistic in the first place.
This all becomes the downhill run to Papeete. Leading into a healthy dose of cynicism. Which is an inclination to question whether something will happen or if something is worthwhile. And cynicism is a hope killer. For no cynic can be truly hopeful.
Cynicism causes you to lose sight of who you are, as a child of God, fearfully and wonderfully made. Cynicism causes you to forget that you have been gifted by God for acts of wonder and power. Cynicism causes you to live carelessly. For what does anything matter anyway? Cynicism causes you to doubt the future that God has promised – “For I know the plans I have for you’, declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.’” (Jeremiah 29:11)
So, here’s to all the cynics out there. In order to change your reality, in order to actually begin to experience that for which you hope, you have to act. You have to do more than simply hope. You must face that uphill climb and start climbing.
To all of those who have been beat up by this world. To all of those whose hopes have been repeatedly dashed. To all of the cynical people out there. Your invitation is this: Don’t lose hope. Yes, you might have to fine-tune that for which you are hoping. But do everything in your power to be a hope-full person.
Your first act, the first step in doing something different and expecting different results, is to ask God to help. For God is the God of hope. Today it’s good enough to simply ask for hope. Tomorrow may hold a different act. But asking God for hope is good enough for today. Let God take care of the rest.