Sunday, March 23, 2014

What I Am Hanging Hope On Today...

Once you choose hope,
anything's possible!
                                    -Christopher Reeve

I have always loved "one-liners", a quick, concise statement that instead of being forgettable is absolutely rememberable. I saw this quotation on a

blog I often read, and it just wouldn't let me go. Have you ever read something
that pulled at you, that said come closer...this is something made for you that you desperately need to hear? Almost a "God-Whisper", if  you will.

I don't just look at the quotation, I also look at who said it. Who's the author?
It might just be the teacher in me, but I'm very interested in the context of what was said. Was this just a brilliant saying that popped out of someone's mouth, or did they live this saying in their own life?

Once you choose hope, anything's possible!

Christopher Reeve, the author of this one-liner, is best known for his role as Superman, but there was much more to him than that. Reeve was a brilliant scholar, actor on Broadway, political activist, philanthropist, and sportsman.
He was a licensed pilot that flew across the Atlantic Ocean on two occasions. Christopher wanted to act from the age of four, was classically trained and one of his first roles was with Katheryn Hepburn. Reeves just took the Superman role to bring recognition to his name.

Yet what makes Christopher Reeve even more memorable than any acting role he played, was how he lived after a life-changing injury that left him paraylzed from the neck down. One minute he was a vital, energy-filled horse rider in a
competition, and the next he was a quadriplegic. His entire life changed.

He went from being independent to being completely dependent. He went from optimism to pessimism. He went from HOPE to HOPELESS. 

Then how in the world did he make this transition from being without hope to writing this quotation that "Once you choose hope, anything is possible"?

The operative word in Reeve's quotation is CHOOSE. He chose hope. He decided to HOPE. He was intentional about HOPE. He hung his hat on HOPE.
Christopher, after a time of deep grief about his injury and what he no longer had, decided to take his life and positive attitude back! His new focus was on being grateful for what he still had left.

He set up a Christopher Reeves Foundation for spinal chord injury research. He gave up acting and became an inspired director. He directed one of my favorite thought-provoking movies, The Gloaming, with Glen Close. It's the story of a family coming to grips with a son who has Aids and comes home to die. Reeves took on a new purpose that filled his heart and soul. 

Reeves made a turnaround in his life. He chose hope and that made all the difference. He didn't just say this quotation, he lived it!

What the heck does it mean to have HOPE?

Now, please bare with me as the college professor in me investigates HOPE, both the cultural definition and what the Bible has to say about HOPE.

The standard dictionary definition of HOPE suggests that hope is "feeling something desired may happen." Hope, in our culture, is used all the time to suggest that my life will be substantially better if this comes about. For example, I hope spring is around the corner. I hope I did well on my final exams. Hope, in this context, leaves room for the possibility that perhaps I didn't do well, but I sure hope I did. If is the operative word here, the word that makes ALL the difference. If I concentrate on the hope that something may happen, I am also spending energy on the option that it may not happen.

While I am by no means a Biblical expert, I am, since the invention of Google :),
able to find valuable Biblical info in a spit second.

According to my very quick Biblical study, HOPE means something entirely different in both the Old Testament and New Testament. In other words, God has something very different in mind when He talks about HOPE!

In the Old Testament, Psalms 33:22 says, "let Thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in Thee." Here, hope is the Hebrew word "yachal" which means absolute trust.  Also, in the Old Testament, Psalms 39:7 says, "And now Lord. what wait I for? My hope is in Thee." Here, the word "hope"in Hebrew, is "towcheleth" which means expectation

In other words, the Old Testament tells us, no declares to us, that the Lord can be trusted. He will keep his promises. When we hope, we can expect and have absolute trust in God.

In the New Testament, in Roman 12:12 it says "Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer." In Jeremiah 29:11 we read, "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."

If you put all of those verses together, it seems that God is asking us to completely trust Him, that we can live in expectation. Since God is in charge,
I can embrace HOPE in Him. That's the kind of hope that discards "If thinking" and "may happen" thinking and instead embraces "expectation thinking" and  "absolutely trust" thinking.

And, with a slight and respectful adaptation to the wonderful quotation by Christopher Reeves, I would say...

"Once you choose to trust in the HOPE God offers, anything IS possible."

And that, my friends, is what I am hanging my hope on today!

God Bless and may you know that God Almighty loves you completely
and holds you in the palm of His hand!

Love, Linda

1 comment:

Peggy Sue said...

Once a again a beautiful written post that truly explains the deapness of that quote but also the deapness or lack of the word HOPE!

Isn't it interesting that YES we truly have two different way's of using the word HOPE! Isn't it funny how we as humans do that! I like the biblical version better :) I am going to share some of your post...with a friend :) thank you for you!!! hugs and love

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