Random thoughts. Not a thesis.
My pastor suggested Sunday (while touching on the relationship between hope and faith) that hope (like faith) is evidenced by action.
And that got me thinking.
Hope is not a passive thing.
It is active. Whether we really hope may be shown by what we do.
It is also a type of dependency. We’re hanging on something outside ourselves (and probably outside of our control, or we would have made it happen already).
In contrast, despair is really a type of arrogance.
I’ve never heard a better definition than Gandolf’s in The Lord of the Rings: “Despair is for those who see the end beyond all doubt.”
It claims a completeness within one’s self, then is crushed when (surprise!) that source becomes inadequate for the task at hand.
Despair only reveals the smallness of the one despairing, and probably a lack of humility to look outside to greater resources.
When I was in high school I was taught that people once believed it was the eye that lit up what is saw.
Just now I cannot imagine how anyone could actually have believed this, considering the size of the eye, and what it supposedly illuminated (and the limitations of night and day…).
But taking it as an idea, I feel this is a good analogy/reminder about hope:
Hope is not something we produce. It is like light to the eye. The eye does not illuminate, it opens to receive illumination.
When we acknowledge our need and look outside ourselves (especially when we look to God) we are no longer limited to our own resources, and I think that is what enables us to hope.