Saturday 29 April 2023 | Written by Supplied | Published in Opinion, Virtues in Paradise
Knowing what we hope for is an important part of being fully alive. When we seek to align our hopes with God’s plan for us, it becomes a powerful magnet for Grace. I asked a young woman I’m mentoring what she felt was behind the attitude of students who don’t do well in their studies and who often drop out of school as soon as they turn sixteen.
“The problem is they have no dreams,” she said. Many end up in low paying jobs that fail to spark their interest and just bring in a bit of money for their families, who perhaps lack dreams for their children’s future, because they have to focus on survival.
Hope is required if we want more than the least possible, if we aspire to greater things – becoming an award-winning dancer, a costume designer, a professional athlete, a farmer, a pilot, a teacher, a lawyer. Perhaps we’ve had a long career and now need a new dream for retirement.
In my latest book Dreaming at the Crossroads of Change, I share the story of a friend who feared that retirement was coming soon. She loved her job as an advocate for families but was getting older and had a good deal of pain and mobility problems.
“But I hate that word, ‘retirement,’” she said. “It sounds like an old nag being put out to pasture.” “Then, let’s come up with a different name for it,” I said. After a few moments some words came into my mind. “I know. Let’s call it your freedom season!” She soon took the big step and became a passionate designer and maker of jewellery, which she shared with friends and family. Some of my very favourite earrings are ones she made.
For me, hope and a sense of security go hand in hand. Contentment and gratitude for the simple things of life bring the best security – food on the table, a roof over our heads, loving relationships (including with ourselves), being in the beauty of nature, offering some service for others – this is the secret of genuine prosperity.
Faith as our anchor and our guide gives us the clear vision to live as we are intended to live. Job 11:17–19 says, “And your life will be brighter than the noonday; its darkness will be like the morning. And you will feel secure, because there is hope; you will look around and take your rest in security.”