I Think I Can See the Future
Imagining Your Way to Hope
Sometimes I think I can see the future. Do you ever feel that way? You’ll be thinking about something…and then it happens? I’m not talking about the magic that happens when you discuss buying an air fryer and then your social media feed suddenly has ad after ad for air fryers. That’s just downright spooky.
There have been so many times when I thought about a certain thing happening, didn’t tell anyone about it, and then it happened. Whoa! It’s a strangely powerful experience. It doesn’t make me think I have any kind of superpower, but rather, that things happen in this life that just can’t be explained. And instead of needing to figure it out, I take it as an opportunity for joy—a gifted moment to feel that I’m not alone in this world. That perhaps someone is listening to the odd conversations going on in the inner recesses of my heart. Hallelujah!
But it also makes me want to keep re-envisioning my future. I love using my imagination and creativity to come up with ways my life could be better—healthier, simpler, more intriguing or adventurous, etc. Maybe it’s just about how to rearrange the furniture to make the room feel cozier. Maybe it’s about how to work on a challenging, but important relationship in my life. Maybe it’s about how I can affect change in a chaos-filled culture.
My life of hope invites me into the realm of unknown possibilities.
I wrote in last week’s newsletter: “Hopelessness believes it can see the future. Hope is convinced it can’t.” I love the power of this statement because many people are running around claiming, like Chicken Little, “The sky is falling! The sky is falling!” believing that they are actually able to see into the future…and to them, it’s bleak. They are using their imagination to look ahead and see how increasingly horrible things are going to be.
Can we take the opposite approach? And use our imagination for good? Yes!
We might not be able to see the future, but we can imagine good things ahead. Not as a way of escape from the reality of today, but in order to help build the world we desire to see.
My buddy James Earley gets this, as he posted on Facebook this week: “Hope can drive the change we want to see.”
(Please know I don’t want to dismiss any of the incredible challenges we are currently living through—these are really tough days. I believe hope is the magic sauce that can help us get through them.)
Hope asks us to muster up a bit of imagination.
Making It Practical
What I’d love to do is encourage you to take a brief moment, perhaps each morning before the day gets into full-throttle mode, and use your imagination to think about how hope can drive the change you’d like to see in your world.
Think about an area of your life where you’d like to see things improve. How specifically would you like it to improve? Write down three things you’d like to see come to fruition. What’s one thing you can start to work on today? [VISION]
What is an area of life that is causing you a lot of heartbreak or sadness right now? What’s something realistic you could do to help alleviate some of the pain someone else might be going through, even as you’re waiting and working through your own? [LOVE]
If you’re a spiritual person, what role do you believe God plays in your life of hope? Write down three beliefs you have about God and how they might help you to imagine a more hope-filled future? [FAITH]
Remember: HOPE = Grounded in Faith + Fueled by Love + Guided by Vision
I absolutely love this description of hope that I found on the Wisdom app’s “Hope Is a Muscle” course from Krista Tippett and On Being:
“Hope, as we'll explore it, is a practical, imaginative, everyday quality of wise and graceful lives. It is an orientation with real world consequences. It is a better way to live - to make a home inside oneself, and to be present to the world in its pain and its beauty. It is a necessary force for picking up the human and civilizational callings that have been laid bare by this moment in the life of the world.”
Are you ready to keep exploring? I can’t wait to see what’s ahead for us!
Do you have a specific question about hope you’d like to ask?
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I’d love it if you’d feel free to leave any of your thoughts or comments right here on this post. I’m convinced we need each other’s insights to keep learning and growing.