Pastor Larry Sundin
Hope. All of life is wrapped up in hope. We hope that someone will love us. We hope that what we do with our lives has some kind of significance. We hope to experience meaningful relationships. We hope to accomplish our dreams. We hope our lives will be filled with laughter, good friendships and great memories. And because we are so wired to hope, almost everything we do with our time, our money, our energy and our very being is in some way tied into seeing our hopes fulfilled.
Now the opposite of hope is despair. I read recently of a guy who was training to be a hospital chaplain. He was in training to understand why so many elderly give up hope. He says, “My supervisor developed an exercise for me. On a series of note cards I wrote down the things that gave my life meaning: relationships, activities, accomplishments, work, memories, etc.
By the time I was done, 30 cards were laid out on the table in front of me. Then my supervisor began telling the imaginary story of my aging. First, my body began to weaken. Cards with activities I enjoyed were removed. Vital relationships were lost; my wife died. As my story continued fewer cards remained, even joyful memories faded away as my mind weakened. With just a few cards remaining, my supervisor asked, “How would you feel if this was all that remained of your life?”
“Lost,” I replied. “I would feel lost. There’s nothing left. I would have no purpose.”
“Now you understand why suicide begins to be appealing to the elderly,” he explained. What he had really done was give me a glimpse into the despair when we lose hope. We cannot live without hope.
If you’ve ever struggled to find hope in the midst of grief, if you’ve ever wrestled loss of meaning or purpose, if you’ve ever felt lost because life has stolen your dreams, then let me invite you to celebrate the living hope found in Jesus Christ this Easter. Come celebrate a Rock Springs Easter at Robson Ranch, April 5, 9:00 a.m. in the Hermosa Ballroom and rejoice in the hope of Easter with us!