Prisoner of hope

I just glanced down at my desk and saw those three words on a piece of paper–“Prisoner of hope”. I don’t remember why I wrote them down or what they originally dealt with, but I needed to see them this morning.

I’m discovering it’s way too easy to be a prisoner of despair–to see all the bad things that go on around you…to jump to conclusions that may not be warranted. After all, that’s what seems to sell newspapers and the TV news…

But being a prisoner of despair means that you wake up dreading the day before you, sure that something will go wrong. And since we tend to live up (or down) to our expectations, then sure enough–something does go wrong!

What would it mean to live each day as a prisoner of hope? Well, for starters, there’s the brightness that shines through the word “hope”! I would look forward to each day with excitement and expectation that life will be good…would be more likely to give people the benefit of the doubt… I would feel better physically, since emotions definitely impact the rest of me.

There’s a hymn that we used to sing when I was growing up–“Look for the beautiful, look for the true…” There’s plenty of negative stuff around; I don’t have to look for it…it finds me without even trying! But looking for the beautiful–the true… It’s like a treasure hunt, with the prize being joy.

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