Removing Hope Boundaries
Why doesn’t technology always do what it’s supposed to do? Why doesn’t the recipe always turn out looking like the picture? Speaking of pictures, why doesn’t my cheeseburger actually look like the one in the ad? And why is it that salt loses its saltiness?
It’s way too easy to simply say, in response to all of these and countless other queries, that life just isn’t perfect. Or nothing ever turns out the way it’s supposed to. This and other learned responses roll so easily off of our tongues. So easily, that too many of us have simply accepted that it’s just the way that it is. We have accepted that everything in life is going to disappoint. Everything in life is going to break, going to fail and going to die. So, move on. Nothing to see here.
But, if I accept all of this, then to where do I move? If everything in life is going to break, going to fail and going to die, then what’s the point? Why am I here? Why are you here? Why is anything here?
Don’t tell me that you’ve never thought this way. Maybe not in these exact terms, but all of us, at one time or another, have pondered why things don’t always turn out the way they were intended. We have all pondered the mysteries of life, the seemingly improbable likelihood that what is expected or what is intended, will actually materialize into reality.
In response to this pondering, all of us have drawn a line in the sand that marks our hope boundary. Our level of hopeful expectation. Above the line we continue to hope. Below the line we lose all hope. Our goal is to live as close to our predetermined hope boundary as possible, at all times. On the rare occasions, when something exceeds your hopes, you rejoice. But, at the same time, you realize that this rejoicing is only temporary. For you have learned that it’s the exception, not the rule.
Why is this? Why do we all live with a hope boundary? Why do we live believing that things working out is the exception, not the rule? Why aren’t we all hope-full as opposed to hope-surprised?
Let me give you two reasons for all of this. First, we have been taught, with the best of intentions and for our own good, to protect ourselves by creating a hope boundary. We have been taught not to expect things to work out. We have been taught that life, technology, recipes, advertisements and salt, among many other things in this world, will disappoint. No matter what it is, no matter what the circumstances, each of us have been taught where to draw our hope boundary.
Second, we live in a fractured, faulty, sin-stained world. This means that there will be extenuating circumstances that will always play into the success or failure of anything and everything we experience. And this success or failure of anything and everything that we experience is the rubric we have learned to use in assessing our level of hope. In other words, your hope is being determined by what happens in your world. As opposed to allowing your hope to determine what happens in your world.
The problem with this perspective is that no piece of technology is perfect. For all technology has been designed and manufactured by imperfect human beings. No recipe can account for all of the many variables of the cooking process. All advertisements are designed to make us feel something. As opposed to realistically showcasing the actual product. And, salt can contain many impurities that makes it possible for it to lose its saltiness.
So, aren’t we right back to where we started? Everything in life is going to disappoint. Thus, you need to make sure you establish your hope boundary, in order to protect yourself from this disappointment.
Yes. We are right back to where we started. But with one big difference. You now know that the establishment of a hope boundary is totally up to you.
You are now an informed consumer. You now know that you live in a fractured, faulty, sin-stained world. You now know that you have established a hope boundary because you have been taught to establish a hope boundary. In order to cope with the fact that you are living in a fractured, faulty, sin-stained world.
Your hope boundary is how you have learned to protect yourself from the pitfalls of living in a constant state of disappointment. Because your hope has been based on the stuff of this world – technology, recipes, advertisements and salt. And you now know that you have the possibility and the opportunity of eliminating your hope boundary. The possibility and the opportunity to live hope-full as opposed to hope-surprised.
And if you haven’t put the pieces together yet, you now also know that removing your hope boundary requires you to remove your desire to define and experience hope, based on the stuff of this world. Yet, there is a big difference between someone who knows something and someone who is actually being someone who knows something. The difference is action.
Why do you get so disappointed when technology doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do? Technology is an imperfect creation made by an imperfect creator. Your disappointment isn’t in the technology not working. Your disappointment is found in what the technology not working is causing you to miss.
Your old hope boundary told you to simply give up and move on. This was your response to your disappointment in technology not working, the recipe not working, the product not living up to the advertisement and salt losing its saltiness. Your new hope-full state tells you to continue to look for that which you desired the technology, the recipe, the advertisement and the salt to give you, in the first place. Hope-full says “Where one door’s closed, somewhere there’s a window that’s open.”
The stuff of this world – technology, recipes, advertisements and salt – are all simply means to an end – entertainment, nutrition, education and flavor. So, when the stuff of this world doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do, which happens all the time; focus on what you actually wanted the stuff of this world to give you or to do for you. In other words, be hope-full.
For in this hope-full perspective you will find a way to get what you really wanted the stuff of this world to give you. As opposed to simply being disappointed in the fact that the stuff of this world didn’t give you what you really wanted in the first place. Which is your hope boundary.