Day 17: Hope Takes Patience

C.S. Lewis said, “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”

What do you hope for? What do you wait for? What are your goals in life? If you’re younger, you may hope for graduation or for a future mate. If you’re middle aged, maybe you are waiting for a job promotion or a winning lottery ticket. And if you have a few more years behind you, maybe you are looking forward to grandkids or even retirement. So many times, we think that if we can just obtain that next “thing,” life will be perfect. But then when we achieve it, there seems to still be that longing, that yearning for the next accomplishment.

As a coach for more than thirty years, I would fight the mindset of hoping for the next win or next great recruit. When achieved, it seemed like it was always on to the next win or next great player. Every coach wants to win a championship. That’s what we coach for. And then the ultimate is to win a championship in your final year of coaching, to go out in a “blaze of glory.”

I was no different. It was my last year of coaching, and I truly thought I had a team that could give me what I hoped for—a championship in my final year. A week before the tournament, I had three starters kicked off the team. We proceeded to be beaten in the first round by the last place team, in overtime, on a last second shot that later proved to be after the buzzer. My “blaze of glory” turned out to be a “gloom of obscurity.”

Hope takes patience. We all know this is not conducive to most of our personalities or the society we have all grown up and live in. There are so many “instant” cravings around us. We all seem to be unable to live without instant gratification. We have instant coffee, instant information, fast food, even instant weight loss. The Bible tells us a story of a man who waited and hoped for thirty-eight years by the pool of Bethsaida until Jesus showed up.  Which means even after twenty, thirty, thirty-five years he continued to wait; he sustained hope that one day he would be healed. There was nothing “instant” about that.

There are so many people around us that have lost hope. We all know people who have hurt, problems, sickness, financial woes, political concerns and global issues. To many people, it seems the world has no hope. I was reminded in my last game that I could not put my hope in things or people. They will always disappoint. There is really only one place that hope can be found— through Jesus Christ. Hope is real, but it does not come from people, it comes from God. True hope knows there is a goal and that the goal is worth pursuing even through hardship, uncertainty and disappointment. What is your hope fixed on today?

Written by Alan Wilson, Athletic Director