Have you ever seen the Cedric the Entertainer segment of the Kings of Comedy film? At the beginning, where he talks about how black folks "don't hope, we wish?" Well, I was thinking about that randomly today, and noticed how I seem to do that often. I think it's a problem.
Why? Because faith is not the substance of things wished for. And we are not instructed to not lose wishes.
The Bible does not tell us that wishes will not lead to disappointment. It says that hope will not lead to disappointment. A certain kind of hope will not lead to disappointment.
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. -Romans 5:3-5
I often find myself still defaulting to wishing mode when troubles arise. I wish I could take care of this. I wish I could do more to help. I wish I could make this go away. I wish I had just a few more clients. I wish I had just a few more students. I wish I had more gigs. I wish I had more time. I wish my efforts at "whatever task" were more successful.
I have a lot of wishes.
I think there is an inherent sense of hopelessness in wishing. You don't really believe what you wish for will happen, because you have been disappointed so many times or had the wind taken out of your sails so many times you think that this is your lot in life.
Hope, however, looks forward to. There is an inherent sense of expectation in hoping. Things may not be great, in fact they could be downright negative, but there is still a feeling inside of you that expects and looks forward to circumstances improving. That is what gives birth to faith.
And THAT, hope, is what I want to default to more often than not and eventually always.
The events of the past couple of weeks have had me reflecting on this. I am certainly out of the habit of navel-gazing, but my reactions this week and last week have led me to question some behaviors. It is time for a conscious change, if I am to live out my one little word for this year and be free.