We all have it. But what we hope for is ever-changing.
I recently received an email from someone who had shared my book with a friend. That friend shared it with another. The message said:
"My friend that I gave Jan's book to is going through her last chemo regime and we can only pray that it is working. Jan's book is the only book she has been able to read and she dropped me a note to say she found it very hopeful at a time when she so needs that hope to get through another day."
I was deeply moved to read such a message, because inspiring others was all I ever hoped for when I wrote it.
Life is always about hope, isn't it?
Hope is part of our experience from the time we are born. Initially, we hope to get fed. And then, when we were two, most of us probably hoped we wouldn't hit our head on the coffee table and that our mother would give us a cookie. Some of us hoped to win the spelling bee when we were ten, or to be the captain of the varsity basketball team in our teens. Later, many of us hoped to graduate from college and get married someday and have a family. As for me, though I can't say that I grew up hoping to go to law school, when I did I hoped I would do well and get a good job when I got out.
So we grew -- all of us. And once all of those hoped-for things came to pass, we began hoping for something else. Once we had the house and the job and the kids were grown, the texture of our hope changed. Mine changed into hoping that I would discover my life's purpose, and that I would live in a place that inspired me and brought my spirit joy. I hoped that I would find true love.
Older now, our hopes have evolved. We hope our kids have productive and happy lives, and that we are lucky enough to stay healthy and grow old watching their hopes change just as ours did. Today, I hope for a cure for cancer. And I hope to spend a few more years with the love of my life. More than a few, really.
Taking a few minutes to reflect, to think about our hopes and dreams, provides an insight to the path of our life's journey. It allows us to see ourselves for who we once were, who we believe ourselves to be, and who we actually are. It lets us review and reset and start again if need be. It prevents us from losing sight of where we are going, and where we hope to end up.
I don't hope to live forever, 'cause that would be just too weird. But while I'm here, I hope that I can continue stringing words together that bring laughter and insight and hope to someone else. Because hope spreads when it's shared.
And it's always about hope.