Chuck Colson was famously quoted in a Steven Curtis Chapman song as saying "Where is the hope? The hope that each of us has is not in who governs us, or what laws we pass, or what great things we do as a nation." So, where is the hope to be found? After the election? For our finances? For our future?
Consumerism is high again this Christmas season despite the financial crisis our nation is experiencing. Are we placing our hope in a candidate and the government to fix everything, and think we can continue as usual without having to put the brakes on personal spending, without suffering personal
consequences? Are we in denial? Fantasy?
Hope is like an investment: what you place your hope in will determine the return you will receive. Have you placed your hope in a safe place?
Hope is a big word. A powerful word. But it is more than a word. Hope itself is powerful. It has the power to direct our lives. For what we place our hope in determines a path we take. But sometimes that path leads to a dead end.
All of us have experienced hope, in little things and big. All of us have also experienced the results of misplaced hope.
On a practical level, we can see how prone we are to 'gamble' with hope by looking at the stock market: We invest in what promises to bring a good return, and sometimes we are 'lucky'. But equally so, we can lose not only our investment, but our shirt! And disappointment, discouragement, even depression follows as the reality of a wrong investment stares us in the face. Hope misplaced, dashed, is also powerful.
We often toss hope like dice, hoping for a win. We do this almost unconsciously in the small things, which can set us up for gambling with hope in the big things, like job security, planning for retirement, or the governing of our nation. Such as so many did, I believe, in this last election -- placing their hope in the candidate who ran on the theme of "Hope", Barack Obama, even though that 'hope' has yet to be clearly defined.
So, let's be real about hope. Whether we're talking about candidates, or financial possibilities, or what we will build our personal lives and families on as truth, placing our hope in an unknown quantity yields no guarantees. Gambling on promises made, or a 'feeling' of a good future, or what "I think" is truth is as risky as investing our hard-earned dollars in an unproven enterprise.
But! There are good places to invest our hope. And that is what our theme is about all this month...real hope, safe investments. So tune in every day on the show this month as we bring you thoughtful dialogue and great guests to address the national, financial and personal challenges we are facing, with what the month of December is really all about -- Real Hope. (Listen online here: http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/changing_worldviews/)
is Founder and President of The Center for Changing Worldviews
and a radio talk show host on KDIA AM1640 in San
Francisco, RIGHTALK.com, and
online at Oneplace.com. Her column appears in many
recognized news sites and publications, most recently FRONTPAGEMAG.
She also writes for
a division of The Media Research Center. For
further information visit her Websites www.changingworldviews.com,
and Blog http://changingworldviews.blogspot.com.