This photo was taken at the magical Trevi fountain in Rome this past spring. Legend has it that if you throw the coin over your left shoulder your wish will come true.
Nothing is Certain
Our family continues to navigate life with great uncertainty. In fact it feels a bit as if the only thing certain, is that nothing is certain.
We have asked Ian’s PT repeatedly about the permanence of his two braces. Her best, most professional opinion, “I don’t know!”
We have asked Ian’s Speech therapist about his readiness/ safety for independent living this fall. Her best, most professional opinion, “I don’t know!”
We have asked how the prism glasses will help; we have asked if Ian’s reading will improve; we have asked if a service dog is possible; and if accommodations could fill in enough gaps to make college possible again. “I don’t know; I don’t know;I don’t know;I don’t know.”
Could be enough ‘I don’t knows’ to consider a very long nap and check back into life in 6 months to see what has changed.
What I do know
It has caused me to wonder what exactly I do know. What can I hold on to? My first thoughts caused me to look to some tangible blessings.
- Thankful for a strengthened marriage, refined by fire
- Thankful for an amazing support system that continues to help us, pray for us and encourage us.
- Thankful for life in Albuquerque, where pleasant living and recreational distractions abound.
- Thankful for the massive resources we have assembled locally.
I am indeed thankful for all of these blessings! They are REAL blessings. And life is better because of them. But what if I told you, that is still not enough! At the risk of sounding like a demanding, spoiled child, it’s true. As sturdy as that list appears, I need something CERTAIN to hold onto. Every one of those bullets could vanish. The unpredictable circumstances that I’ve lived through has taught me that.
And then it hit me.
HOPE. I have HOPE.
I have a HOPE that is secure.
It is important to understand what I mean. The HOPE I speak of is not wishful thinking. In my view, we use the words interchangeably all the time. I hope Ian finds his wallet; I hope the Broncos win the super bowl next year; I hope it rains every day this week. I would suggest that in each of these examples, hope is really wishful thinking. I really don’t expect them to happen but I sure would like them to.
For me, the biblical meaning of HOPE carries the weight of expectation. Hope is real and has power. HOPE has the backing of the creator of the Universe.
Many years ago there was a not very good movie with Sandra Bullock called “Hope Floats. That is how I like to think of hope. When the storms of life hit, HOPE floats. Hope is buoyant. Hope cannot be pulled under by the tide.
As a Christian, hope means our focus is on eternity while our life and work remains here on earth. C.S. Lewis wrote, “Aim at Heaven and you will get earth `thrown in’: aim at earth and you will get neither”
Where is your HOPE?
(The thing that dominates your thoughts is often a clue) Is your hope in your health and your tennis ability? Is your hope in your job and financial security? Is your hope in well adjusted, adult kids with nice families? Those may all be good things. But they are not secure.
Live in the now, but not yet
If your hope feels shaky… look up. The promise of eternity can ease the struggle of the present. It is as if we live in the now, but not yet. Hope is the CRUCIAL connection. Without hope, we have no concept of the ‘not yet’ NOR do we have strength for the ‘now.’ Without hope you WILL lose your footing. If you think that is not so… just wait.
My sweet parents both have Parkinson’s. It is a cruel and ruthless disease that has taken much. But even Parkinson’s cannot and will not snuff out their HOPE. In fact, it has incited it. Just ask either one of them… they cannot wait for the not yet.
Receive this encouragement from Paul in his 2nd letter to the Corinthians.
2 Corinthians 4:16,17 “Do not lose heart” and do not lose hope, for your “momentary affliction is preparing for [you] an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison”
With your feet firmly planted in the reality of this world, (the here and now) have certain HOPE in the reality of the World to come, (the not yet).
My Hope floats
So what did I wish for in the photo above? I do not even remember. Like it is for thousands of tourists everyday, it was a trivial photo op. It was a wish. It had zero power. Perhaps it is symbolic that the coin I tossed sunk to the bottom of the fountain. My HOPE floats.
Tenth Avenue North agrees.