I hope you keep reading this blog post. See what I did there?
Well, you will.
The church I attend, The Springs Church of Christ in Edmond, launched a series of sermons on the season of Advent this past Sunday. Our preacher, Ben Langford, presented it as a season of hope found in the birth of Christ.
Ben defined hope in the way that University of Oklahoma professor and author Chan Hellman, Ph.D., describes it in his book “Hope Rising: How the Science of Hope Can Change Your Life.”
Dr. Hellman’s definition of hope is, “the belief that your future can be brighter and better than your past and that you actually have a role to play in making it better.”
I read Hope Rising a couple years ago and was caught off guard by the definition. I always thought hope was something far more nebulous and random.
Sort of like “I hope rain doesn’t wash out the baseball game tomorrow, or “Gee, I hope you get what you want for Christmas.”
See, I’ve always believed that hope was more of a wish than something you could actually turn into an action item.
But Hellman’s book explains how people can set a goal, find a path toward its completion and then take action to reach it.
That sounds a lot like a goal setting exercise I learned in college.
In Hope Rising, Hellman demonstrates how the science of hope actually helps people who have been afflicted by life’s circumstances find their way to a better life from things like childhood trauma.
It’s not random or nebulous, but it does require some action by the person who’s hoping for better. It took a while, but I finally saw Dr. Hellman’s point about the “science” of hope as I read the book.
So, anyway, back to Ben’s sermon (watch it here). He made the point that people find hope in Christ by seeing the path to God and taking action to achieve it.
It was the type of sermon that stayed with you beyond lunch at Earl’s BBQ afterward.
I hope this blog post made some sense for you.
See what I did there?