Hope-full or Hope-less?
|by Suzie Johnson|
~~ Isaiah 40: 28-31
|courtesy of vivekchugh at sxc.hu|
Years ago, my church showed a series of lessons presented by Landon Saunders. Though I don’t remember much from the series, I do remember the one thing he repeated several times throughout: Never give up, never give up, never ever, ever give up.
Most of us are probably familiar with the children's book The Little Engine That Could, and the phrase that precious little train engine told himself over and over: I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.
Those two phrases have something very basic in common: Hope.
Hope is the word which God has written on the brow of every man.
Not long ago, The X-Factor held auditions in Seattle. For those who don’t know, this is a singing competition that will debut this fall. Thousands of hopeful people stood in line for hours for the chance to audition.
|courtesy of RAWKU5 at scx.hu|
Mr. Radio Show Host…let’s just call him John…had several things to say about this woman, none of them flattering. Then he went on a several minute rant, calling The X-Factor hopefuls (and any other talent show hopefuls) “pathetic people that make $9.50 an hour”. In John’s opinion, “these poor people, vulnerable to strangers, with the hope of getting out of their $9.50 an hour job, should give up hope. That way they’ll never be disappointed.” He also went on to say, “Never will you find a bigger collective of people hoping against all hope. It’s just a big sad-fest.” John also had a few choice words to say about the producers of American Idol and The X-Factor.
I was taken aback by his open ridicule of this woman and the other contestants, and especially the fact that she “only” earns $9.50 an hour. Since John hosts a radio show, someone should remind him that in his own state of Washington, minimum wage is less than $9.50 an hour. A lot of people make minimum wage or just above it. Should all of those people give up hope of ever making more than minimum wage? Should they accept this guy’s opinion that they are pathetic and just give up?
I’m not sure what he meant by “they are condemned to this life,” but John also had these words of wisdom to impart: “If you expect nothing, you won’t be disappointed.” “Only when you give up hope will you have a joyful life.” “When you are drowning, you don’t reach out to another drowning person and grab on to their flailing arm.”
Nice guy, isn't he? I couldn't disagree with him more, and I certainly hope John doesn’t dispel this same message of hopelessness to his wife and children.
|courtesy of stevekrh19 at scx.hu|
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick.” ~~Proverbs 13:12
Can you imagine living in a world without hope? What does that even look like? I picture extreme darkness with nothing to look forward to. No flowers, no cherry trees, no scent of lavender or lemon, no beaches, no laughter, no music, no books, no one to love, and especially no Jesus.
Because, after all, Jesus is the very center of our hope.
Without Jesus, and the hope he brings, what would our days look like? What would keep us going, day in and day out? What would we have to look forward to?
“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” ~~Hebrews 11:1
|courtesy of robby_m at scx.hu|
Do you agree with John’s opinion that talent show hopefuls should just give up? Do you agree that we shouldn't have hope? I've heard Debbie Macomber say several times, “Dare to dream big dreams.” To me, dreaming big dreams is the same as being hopeful. Do you dream big dreams?
Suzie Johnson has won several awards for her inspirational novels (writing as Susan Diane Johnson), including the Maggie, Lone Star, Heart of the West, and Beacon awards, as well as finaling in the Touched by Love, Finally A Bride, Linda Howard Award for Excellence, and Virginia's Fool For Love contests. She is a member of ACFW, RWA, and is a cancer registrar at her local hospital. The mother of a wonderful young man who makes her proud every day, she lives with her husband and little kitten on an island in the Pacific Northwest. And although the beaches are rocky instead of sandy, lined with Madronas and Evergreens instead of Palm trees, and the surf is much to cold for wading, it is still the perfect spot for writing romantic fiction. You can visit her blog, Suzie's Writing Place at http://suzieswritingplace.blogspot.com/..