About Hope

I tend to remember everything.  More specifically, I remember almost every conversation, especially minor ones, that I have with people.  As of late I have learned not to bring up old conversations, because the speaker usually doesn’t remember saying the things that I remember.  But I digress.  

I once had a conversation with a good friend of mine, Aaron.  I was 2.5 years ago, and my mind was still pretty messed up.  I wasn’t sure how long I would be metaphorically “sticking around” then, but I had a little bit of a grasp of what I would do if I got through my ish.  I had an answer for everything, even in my brokenness.  I was pushing people away in a successful manner.  Throughout our conversation Aaron noticed something.  He then asked me where my hope was.  I had no answer.  I had no answer, because I had no hope.  Even though I was in Bible college, doing my best to follow a God who I felt was betraying me, I had no hope.  My hope was not in God, even though I desperately wanted it to be.  

Fast forward a few years to where I am right now.  For church on Sunday we made s’mores and had community time.  We separated into groups around the four separate campfires and we told God stories.  I had on my heart a need to share where I had been and how I got to where I am now.  I talked about how I had always had a plan, and now that I have no plan I am more content than I have been in a while.  My sharing sparked an ongoing conversation, and some prayer and some vulnerability.  One of my roommates, Gus, went on to point something out to me.  He said that it seemed that for a long time I have had no hope in my life.  When I had a plan, I had no hope.  But now, he said, I have an evident hope.  Even though I have no idea what my life holds, I have hope.  

So maybe when I have plans, I put my hope in them.  If I have learned anything in my life though, it’s that if I don’t get my hopes up, they can’t be let down.  Now that I have no plan, I cannot be let down.  My hope is in God’s plan, and not knowing what it is makes life a little bit more of an adventure.  And I want to be in love with adventure.

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Unplugged

Wait, wait, wait! Hold up, stop the noise
I’ve been plugged in for so long that I can’t hear my own thoughts
Let alone that still, small voice
That I know to be God
But it’s like I’m blocking Him out with all my other stuff

You can tell me that I won’t be relevant to the culture if I don’t stay plugged in
You can tell me that I’ll miss important events and information if I don’t stay plugged in
You can say that my light will stop shining if I don’t stay plugged in

But I am not some household appliance, no
A genie will not appear if I am touched in just the right way
No, I am not some lamp that can be turned on and off by some little, black switch

I am an open flame
I shine brighter with every helping of God that I consume
He feeds my blaze; He is my light

Yes, sometimes I am a roaring, burning fire
That sheds warmth and allows sight around a late night campfire

But usually, usually I’m a candle
Yes, my silent flame on this waxy wick may seem unnoticed or unimportant
But I shed efficient light in this dark world I live in
And the best thing about being a candle is that I don’t have to be alone, no
You see, if you get close enough, I’ll ignite you too
And you’re candle flame might burn even brighter

So we don’t need to be plugged into a wall, or the web, or the world
We don’t need to be worried about missing the next email, text, tweet, or status update
Unplugged; letting go and letting God
Lights of the world
Fueled by something so much greater than electricity or a wifi connection

Brighter than sparks and more potent than incense
We can’t stay held down or we’ll burn this whole place to the ground
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine
Until an explosion of Jesus ignites the world
Because I didn’t stay plugged in