Sometimes we hope for something so strongly that we almost ache with that hope.
Our hopes come in as many shapes and sizes as there are people. It might be we hope that someone we love is well again, the hope of a broken relationship restored, the hope of a solution in difficult financial times, the hope of a bright future for our children.
We watch for signs that our hope could be realised – and if it comes to pass as we imagined, we move from an aching to a joy!
Sometimes we become so focused on what we hope for that we miss what is happening. We know exactly what we want to happen, when and where. And we miss ‘a variant’ on that hope that is coming into being, something that might perhaps even be better than the shape we gave to our hope.
Yesterday I celebrated Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter, with Christians everywhere.
Whether you have a Christian faith or not, it’s a great story – and goes something like this. Go back over two thousand years in time. A middle-eastern Jewish man called Jesus rides into Jerusalem on a donkey at a time of celebration for the Jewish people. The crowd hear that Jesus is coming and get very excited. They are excited because they hope Jesus is going to rescue them from the Roman soldiers who rule their country, giving them their country back. Some of the crowd spread branches – possibly palm branches – on the path in front of Jesus by way of welcoming him.
The story unfolds further and I will be remembering the events as the days pass in the coming week leading up to Easter. Things didn’t turn out for the Jerusalem crowd in our story as they hoped – Jesus didn’t rescue the country from the Romans – but actually something even better and bigger happens.
Let’s recognise the hopes that we have. Then let’s be open to our hopes sometimes being realised in a different way to what we thought. And journey on . . .
This is Mindful Monday on 26 March 2018.
If you live in or near Cheltenham, join us for an evening of mindfulness on Monday 16 April.