Keep Hope Alive!

It’s funny how a simple remark can lead you to reflect on your life.

Last week, my brother-in-law stopped by to visit. As we stood in the driveway, he pointed to a large bed of Cosmos flowers still standing on the first day of November.

“I see you’re one of those gardeners who lets their plants remain over the winter. You don’t pull everything out. That’s smart. Then they self-seed. I remember that’s how I got my Cosmos seedlings from your garden one spring.”

I told him that I usually tidy up the flower beds somewhat, but I do leave some plants behind for the birds to feed on.

“It’s just too early yet. I think there will be more blooms!”

Yup, it was the beginning of November and I felt certain the cosmos would bloom longer. I didn’t want to deny them their purpose in life–to bring beauty to the world!

“You’re always so hopeful!”

We both laughed. But, you know, the flowers bloomed until a light dusting of snow fell on the seventh day of November.

It made me feel good to be thought of as hopeful. Because where would I be without hope?

Years ago I sought counselling for a different sort of problem. I was helping a loved one who was undergoing many challenges. Meanwhile, the stressful situation took a toll on me. The Christian part of me insisted I do all I could possibly do for her. To have hope that God’s grace would see me through the tough times as I supported this individual. The self-help books I consulted insisted I shut the door on the situation and move on. Slam the door shut, lock it and throw away the key!

The wise therapist understood my dilemma as he had met the certain individual before. He told me to buy the book “Anyway” also known as “The Paradoxical Commandments”.

The poem “Anyway” is often attributed to Mother Teresa as it adorned the walls of one of her mission centres however it was written by Kent M. Keith, half a world away.

The book was perfect for me. A line that I’ll always remember was that if we love people, they may feel our love, and it may bring out the best in them.

I try to live by that philosophy. It gives me hope in trying circumstances. Life is not easy at times but we must do our best to cope. And to help others cope. To have hope and to love one another.

So, yes, I am a hopeful person . . . most days! I have my moments of doubt and despair as do we all. So if you ever find yourself in a similar situation, pick up this short, 120-page book for inspiration and guidance.

You won’t be disappointed. Have hope!