I struggle with hope.

Hope carries the suggestion that there is something wrong with the present. “I hope things will be different.” “I hope I will change.” Or worst of all, “I hope you will change.”

Hope has overtones of discontent. Here is not adequate. Now is not good enough. Something is missing. I am looking forward to a day when things will no longer be as they are.

When I start with a sense of dissatisfaction, it is more difficult to see clearly what is going on in my life and in the world around me. My perceptions are coloured by the judgment that something is wrong.

Hope is restless; it lives in an imagined bright future when everything will be better. So hope is only able to see through the lens of my discontent. Everything today becomes tainted with disapproval.

For hope, the circumstances of today appear to be obstacles to fulfillment and contentment. There is a thin line between hope in the future and frustration in the present. If I project my life into later, I will always resent the details of my life today. If I am always going to live tomorrow when things get better, I never live now.

Is it possible to redeem the concept of hope?

This seems to be a good question to carry through the first week of Advent.

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