Many inanimate objects have emotional value, but they do not emote. However, if we allow our imaginations to anthropomorphize this little dinghy, we might wonder if it will be disappointed after enduring a long, cold winter while sitting on its porch and patiently waiting for some child to tug it to the water’s edge for a spring launching.
“Waiting” and “hoping” over-arch human existence. They are built into the rhythm of every day, the cycle of seasons, and the length of our lives. However, despite the old adage, not everything comes to him who waits. Dreams vanish; hopes are dashed; some answers never arrive! We don’t always get the bike under the Christmas tree or the diamond ring or the job we want, or the Covid vaccine. The “final answer” to our efforts may not be the anticipated one.
How we respond to disappointment is a choice. It may be with frustrated petulance, anger, and depression, but thankfully, “hope” is a possibility! Patience leads to “experience; and experience, hope.” (Romans 5:4) This hope is an optimistic mindset which moves us forward. We may use “delays” to define actual needs and to adjust to circumstantial realities. Adversity may produce patient and enduring spirits, give us greater appreciation for the pleasures we have, endue us with a compassion for others, and humble us by reminding us that we are vulnerable and not entitled.
Ultimate hope is an essential ingredient in happiness, which is difficult to find in a meaningless, purposeless world. We all have belief systems which attempt to make intelligent, philosophical deductions from experience, knowledge, and observation about who and why we are. In the process, we tend to become self loathing because we fail to live up to who we believe we should be. Whether our viewpoint becomes atheist, agnostic, Christian, or some other creed, we believe. We hold either a nihilistic faith in which ultimate meaning is an attempt at self-fulfillment and pursuit of pleasure, or we embrace a hope-filled faith in which God exists and gives meaning and dignity to life beyond ourselves. Only one of the two deduced belief system can be true, a fact important when considering ultimate destiny.
The thing about Christian hope/confidence is that meaning and purpose lie within a relationship with Creator God. They do not rest on our fallibility, limited intellect, or the meager philosophies of others but are beautifully established on God’s love for us and the good news of His Gospel that that our fallen natures are redeemable and that creation, which Scripture says is “groaning” for redemption, will one day be restored. There will be a day when things are set right. (Romans 8:23) (Revelation 21:1) Although mixed with anticipation and patient waiting, this kind of “hope” is “assured, just not totally experienced” yet.
And the dingy? It was launched in the spring!