But what happens when we do not have that faith? What happens when we cannot sense the potential of light in our future?
It feels like a dark time in our history as a nation and as a world. So much pain and loss in the neighborhoods of Aleppo, a dangerous president-elect who has only business interests (and self-interests) in mind - it feels like 2017 might be the year that begins our dystopian future.
Dark days, indeed.
It is easy for me to go to that place in my mind where fear resides: imaging the destruction of our planet in the name of big business and the Almighty Dollar, visualizing a world torn apart by conflict and greed where principles of human decency are diminished and devalued. With this line of thinking, it does not take long before I find myself curled up in the fetal position, overwhelmed by feelings of powerlessness and despair. The uncertainty of it all freezes me in place; I find it difficult to sense the light residing within me.
And yet, I must hold onto hope at this dark time of year: hope in the coming of the light, the return of spring, the return of benevolence in leadership.
I coach myself to see the “thousand points of light” in my life - the people who have kept their light kindled in the darkness with gestures of kindness and compassion, commitments to service and right relationship, pledges of engagement and vigilance for the sake of others.
My heart knows there are thousands upon thousands of points of light in this world. And I pray that they can shine brightly enough to shed light in the darkest of corners.
I can be one of those points of light, as long as I am not huddled in the corner in the fetal position. It requires my courage and commitment. It requires my willingness to walk into the unknown. And so, I re-engage with my commitment, I reconnect with those thousand points of light in my life, and I relight my own small beacon of hope in the December darkness.
What is your relationship to hope? How might you serve as a point of light in the world?