HOPE IN THE MATTER

Today’s Prayer to Passage will be from the book “Peace is Every Step” by Thich Nhat Hanh.

Today I pray, “Dear God, I have been sleeping all day today. I awoke at 8:30 a.m. for a one-hour phone call at 9. And shortly following the call, I fell back to sleep. My mind and my emotions… and now my body are all entirely exhausted. Please tell me this ‘checking out’ is really a grand dream state of checking in. Thank You. Amen.”

Following my prayer, I held the closed book in my hands and opened it to reveal this passage:

“Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.”
—THICH NHAT HANH

Today’s one-hour phone call was centered around the idea of hope. There were three people on the call, and we remarked about our lives… in the ways that any fixed point of view can only lead us ultimately to despair. And despair is the complete absence of hope. And despair feels awful. So it only seems natural that we would choose hope to overcome despair. This is what we talked about; I’m not making this up.

When I got off the call, I found myself asking, “So… God? Hope is an approved notion? Any overly intellectual cancellation of my need for hope can be outright ignored? Those who tell me that we are only our internal states and nothing else? That we are only our thoughts, our memories, our emotions, and our body sensations…in physical matter? And that there is no hope if this is all we are? Hope is actually the antidote to this depressing diminishment of the human experience? Hope is the cure? Hope breathes life into the sterile flatness of being defined only as our internal states? “

Why isn’t this taught in school? Why am I only discovering this now? If all we have is now, if our past is merely old nows and our future is nows that haven’t happened yet, why wouldn’t we live in a perpetual hope? An uplifting optimism. A present positivity. That’s all I’ve got right now, and to be honest, it just may be what gets me out of bed.

Amen.

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