"31 Days of..." is an October let's-make-life-better thing that a mob of great women, including my daughters, are teaming together to do all month. Read 'em all and be blessed HERE.
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The whole series day-by-day:
1. 31 Days of Scary Hope -- (this post -- scroll down)
9. I hope...
13. Dirt grows stuff
16. My dead hope
27. Yep, it's scary
33. What is hope?
37. Lose to win
Tomorrow we'll begin talking about hope, Wonderful Hope, the bright sun in the morning, the ring of twelve-string guitars, fresh red strawberries, sleeping puppies, giggling babies, inspiring choruses that never end, and the way the air smells giddy on a surprising warm afternoon in March after a long frozen winter.
That’s how your dream of fulfilled hope feels, only better.
But first, the scary
Do you really want change?
You want the thing you hope for, and maybe you don’t even know what that thing is, but you yearn and you dream for something beyond your reach.
You have the hope, but do you want the change?
I’ll go first
I have hopes to help and encourage people. I hope to put ideas, stories, and insights that have been in my head for years, into words that open eyes and give a perspective that changes how you see yourself, God, and others. Oh, I so want that! I think endlessly of this, plan lots, work some, finish little. It’s a long-term hope that stays a hope.
I dream, think, have good intentions, and pretend I’ll do it later. Scroll down here and notice the dates of old posts. Sporadic. Comments are off because zero looks lame. Why?
Committing to just this short-term 31 Days thing makes me hesitate. If I’m disciplined, I have two or three hours a day to do it, except for the frequent crazy days when it’s less. Plus, I’m going to Haiti for seven of the days, with no internet. See—no way, right? The way I am now, the way my time is now, I can’t do it.
That’s why I don’t do the long-term hope, either. For the hope to happen, things would change.
Do I really want change? No. But I want the thing I hope for.
Why would you be afraid of what you hope for? Fear of what?
Fear that your life will change. Fear of responsibility and raised expectations. When people have no expectations of you, you’re home free. Nobody notices you, or cares; no loss, no pain. No one knows what they’re missing, and you don’t either. But you have a hunch.
You think, let's keep expectations low and stay hidden. Then there’s no responsibility, no one expects you to show up, and no one will ever be disappointed. You can stay where you are, think about what you hope for, and pretend.
I’ve got hope, but I’m scared. Once you have hope, you’re scared of it happening, and scared of it not. You can’t win.
Are you addicted?
It’s possible to be addicted to the status quo, addicted to not changing, addicted to feeling sorry for yourself, addicted to excuses. Addicted may be a strong word, but that’s the word we use for things we can’t give up.
Jesus asked that sick guy, “Do you want to be healed?” Doesn’t that sound like a cruel thing to say to a sick person? Maybe he knew something about the guy that’s not obvious on the outside. When you have enough excuses, no one dares challenge you because they’ll look heartless. You can rig it so people will be afraid to call you on it, and so things will stay familiar and you never have to take any responsibility for changing. Jesus let the man know he was on to him.
Jesus is on to me, too. How about you? Do you want to change?
During these 31 Days, we’ll face the challenge of change, and we’ll look at the part we want—the thing we hope for. It CAN happen. We’ll hear stories to remind ourselves of how much hope can happen. Some of these stories may simply be interesting, some may inspire you, or some may speak very personally to you.
What are you hoping for? Say it out loud now. Repeat it. I dare you to hear yourself say it.