Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Hope and Despair during Advent

I really don't understand why some people post reviews on iTunes like "I expected this album to be not so great but I'm pleasantly surprised that it's quite good." I guess it's because I don't buy albums that I don't think will be any good. In fact (personal confession here), I usually only buy records that I suspect MIGHT wind up being great or albums by artists that I've liked forever and therefore, even though I might be apprehensive, I know that they could be amazing. The other albums in my collection are either given to me by friends or I got them from record labels or blogs or other avenues that don't personally cost me much.

I suppose, my music expectations might be some kind of metaphor for life as I see it. Most every day, I believe, has the potential to be incredible. Incredibly productive, incredibly enlightening, incredibly out of the ordinary. Needless to say, I am often disappointed.

But still I soldier on, because many of these days are in fact, special and many are even better than I expected. Some, however, are a lot worse.

I read today that hope is the lens through which we can see/imagine a better world. I believe it.

But HOPE, though it always exists apart from emotion, can sometimes feel like despair. Especially when we're continually disappointed.

I am incapable of encouraging myself during all the times when hope looks like despair, when love looks like hate and when education looks like disaster. That's why I'm thankful that God gives me other people who walk through this elation/desolation cycle with me. During this first week of advent, when Christians everywhere celebrate hope and coming of a savior, I will try to remember that sometimes hope isn't just a concept, it is often embodied in people helping other people. Sometimes hope looks like me. Maybe more often it looks like you.

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