Gift of Hope

Advent 2015 officially begins tomorrow. The occupants of the swake don't feel ready yet for Christmas.  However, ready or not Christmas is coming and Advent is the lead in for those who celebrate the religious significance of the holy day.  The season of Advent offers gifts to all regardless of religious beliefs or lack thereof.  My hope is that you experience a few moments of respite from the commercial freneticism around us when you read the blog over the next four weeks.

In week one we present to you the gift of hope, the fuel that sustains our beliefs and dreams.  Hope is a powerful and potent word.  When we speak the word our very outlook shifts to possibility.  Politicians and communicators capitalize on the use of the word because they understand the innate human longing for a better outcome.  There is something about hope that is tied to desires deep within us.  Sometimes we are able to name hope easily and other times we struggle to name it because it is woven in and around our lives in such a complex manner.

Many associate hope with positive outcomes, and I count myself in that category.  Technically the definition of hope allows for outcomes that the 'hoper' deems positive. That creates a bit of a wrinkle.  If you allow yourself to travel down that thought path you will run head first into the possibility that those with vengeful intentions hope for outcomes that you and I would deem unspeakable.  I hardly dare to write that because it somehow opens a Pandora's box that I hadn't counted on.  I have always associated hope with what is good and right and just.  The realization is dawning that hope can be perverted.  Oh brother, this blog started out hopeful and took a detour.  It was supposed to be a gift of hope yet the connections between my brain, fingers, and keyboard are producing a piece of work that is depressing me!  I'm sorry.  Let's realign that hope factor.

Let's think about hope as a gift.  Here you are.  I give you your very first Christmas gift of the year-the gift of hope.  Pretend you are unwrapping the most beautiful present ever.  Imagine removing the ribbon and bow, tearing back the paper, opening the box, and seeing hope in all its glory and beauty.  There it is just waiting for you to embrace it.  Everyone gets the same gift but everyone does not use it the same way.  How will you use your gift of hope this Advent season?  Will you use it to make your little sphere of the world better?  Will you use it to encourage and uplift others?  Take the gift out of the box this week and use hope to light your way through the Advent season.