Hope: Rough Road Ahead!

Pain is one of the reasons why we search for meaning and purpose in life. We all suffer from time to time (or, in some cases, all the time). An untimely death, an unexpected illness, a particularly malevolent co-worker, or a terrible accident strikes and suddenly our perception of life is crushed by reality. We think, “life wasn’t supposed to be this way.” We wonder why we have it so hard when others seemingly have it so easy. Our sense of justice and fairness is violated. Why me? Why now? Why, God, why?

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Hope: No Two Roads Look the Same

I’m a Kansas City Royals baseball fan which means I have watched a lot of bad baseball for the past 25 years. Like many of my fellow KC seam-heads, I thoroughly enjoyed their return to relevance in 2014-17. What made the Royals’ championship in 2015 especially satisfying was their emphasis on tried and true baseball principles — speed and defense — combined with exploiting a facet of the game undervalued by the market: an outstanding bullpen. The Royals reminded an industry dominated by saber-metrics that there are multiple ways to reach the same goal.

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Hope: a Brighter Future

Over the past couple of decades, neuroscientists inadvertently discovered something fascinating — our brains naturally default to thinking about the future. They happened upon this little gem through the use of control groups who were instructed in various MRI studies to “think about nothing.” As researchers learned, our minds quickly drift from nothing to something, and the something we drift toward is thoughts of the future.

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The Power of Hope

One of the more interesting books I read this last year was Making Hope Happen: Create the Future You Want for Yourself and Others. The author, Shane Lopez, was one of the lead researchers in the area of hope before his untimely death in 2016. Though Dr. Lopez takes a secular approach to the topic, I found a great deal of overlap between his conclusions and how the Bible presents hope. The empirical evidence along with revealed knowledge suggests we are “hard-wired” to be hopeful.

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