Food for thought

There’s been a lot of talk about "hope" in this election cycle. (I won’t refer to it as an election "year" since it’s longer than 12 months.)  A recent church newsletter delivered to my mailbox included a small excerpt from the book titled My God and I: A Spiritual Memoir by Lewis B. Smedes. I share the excerpt below, perhaps to provide some perspective on the Obama campaign’s focus on the word "hope" and the campaign slogan in which the word "believe" is emphasized.

"…as I have grown old, my feelings about God have tapered down to gratitude and hope.  Gratitude is the pleasure of hope come true.  Hope is the pain of gratitude postponed. 

"Gratitude comes easy, on its own steam, where we know that someone has given us a real gift.  Hope comes harder, sometimes with our backs against the wall, laden with doubts that what we hope for will ever come.

"Gratitude always feels good, as close to joy as any feeling can get.  Hope can be unbearable, when we passionately long for what we do not have…we are restless as a farmer waiting for rain after an August without a drop."

Smedes finished the book shortly before his death in 2002.  Another Smedes book, Forgive and Forget, has sold over a million copies.

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.