This quote from Emily Dickenson is lovely:
“Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.”
― Emily Dickinson
I love that image — that hope is something that lives in the soul and never stops. Regardless of the situation, regardless of how bad things are, it never stops at all.
In 2009 I wrote this blog post about the ego quality of hope, but I went back to find one paragraph that I think sums up the difference between those who have learned to be “joyful in hope” as Paul instructs us to be.
Last night we had plenty of teenage girl drama. One of my daughters has healthy attachment and it is obvious that she has developed hope somewhere along the way. By the days end, she apologized for her attitude, hugged me, and we both agreed that the next day would be better. My other daughter texted me right before bed, after I texted her that things were going to get better, "No they aren't. Nobody understands me and my life is bad and it is just getting worse and worse.”
So, where are you on this continuum? Have you been able to develop the quality of hope in your life? It takes time and constant redirection of thoughts from one view of the world to another. When that happens, as Paul points out, we can be joyful in that hope.