Sunday, December 16, 2007

Hope Skates -- Hope Chronicles 3

Yesterday, I turned 39. I had a very busy birthday. My friend, Jill, took me to lunch. She knows that I am concentrating on hope, so she made me a lovely bookmark with the word hope attached to it. And it was good just to talk about it some with her. It struck me later that I said, “I’m working on it . . . .” Yes, hope is something that can be worked on. It’s making a determination to change your mindset. That takes a lot of work.

While yesterday was a very good day, today I was reminded of how far I have to go in the hope, grace, and faith departments. I knew it was snowing last night. So, when I woke up this morning, I knew I would have to shovel my way out. Before getting ready for church, I pulled on some jeans and boots and headed outside. I was dismayed by the amount of snow we had gotten. Actually, the way my drive is situated, a lot of snow blows into my drive way in huge drifts. Not only was it a lot of snow, it was heavy.

Shoveling made me think about Bill, a friend who died last spring. He spent last winter shoveling my drive for me. As a result, I turned a bit melancholy.

Then I went in to shower and change and realized that there were problems with the toilet. After 15 minutes, things got fixed, but I was even more miserable.

I arrived at church being glad that it was an “off” Sunday for me. I run power point for the service 1-2 times a month. I was looking forward to just receiving and not worrying about cues and flow and all of that. But, there was a monkey wrench in things and I ended up needing to put the slides together in under 10 minutes and run the show. I confess that my heart was not in a good place. I cried through a few of the songs, staring resolutely at the screen and hoping the sound person wouldn’t notice.

I had a choice. I think I made the wrong one today. I let the situations get the best of me. Instead of fixing my eyes on Jesus, I looked at my circumstances. I missed out on an opportunity to serve with a grateful heart. I missed out on counting my blessings when my thoughts turned melancholy with the snow.

Hope is active. It is often a choice.

The other part of my birthday I spent with some children I really enjoy. Six of them I know well: Kolya (13), Austin (11), Alex (10), Addie (7), Elena (7), and Grace (5). I do things with them on a regular basis – but usually in sets of 2! Last year, I took Kolya, Austin, and Alex ice-skating. They loved it. I’m a horrible skater, but I enjoyed how much they liked it. My friend, Allison, went along. (She is Grace and Elena’s mom.) I figured the price out and for the group discount we needed 10 and it would mean 2 more could go for $2.00 more than what we would pay for 8. So, I called up Erica (9) and James (7) to see if they wanted to come. I didn’t think they had probably ever been, so I thought it would be a treat.

It was. Everyone seemed like they had a good time. But it struck me after church today, how hope skates. I think hope skates like James and Addie. It was the first time for both of them. They were fearless. When they fell, they got right back up and shot off again. No holding onto the wall for them!

It’s not that we should never be cautious. It’s just that sometimes our caution keeps us stuck by the wall rather than whizzing around the rink. Hope takes risks because in the end it trusts that things will be okay. It says, “I may fall, but I can get back up.” It says, “I know the ONE who will always give me a hand up.”

There is a certain abandon about hope. Hope skates without the wall.

1 comment:

Jill said...

I like this alot, Amy.