measuring hope

Sometimes life is busy.

Not a terribly profound statement, but true, correct?  Currently, my work life consists of coordinating a fundraising event, compiling a grant report, and alas, helping with the beginning stages of yet another federal grant.  Lest you think I’m complaining, I assure you, I’m not.  Job security and all that, right?

Anyways, one of the interesting components of the grant report I am knee deep in, is the measurement of hope.  Yes, that’s right.  The kind folks in Washington DC who orchestrated this beautiful grant which pays 75% of my salary ask that we, the grantees, measure hope in our clients.

You might be wondering how one goes about that.  Or perhaps you’re not.  Regardless of what you’re wondering, and maybe you’re still caught up on the fact that your tax dollars help put food on my table, despite that you always thought I was in the non profit world…..  Or maybe you simply know nothing about me, stumbled onto my blog, and are about to head to other parts of the internet because I’m boring you to pieces…..

Meanwhile, we measure hope by asking a simple question on a survey:  Do you believe your life will be better one year from now?  And as I enter surveys into our database and compile results, and eventually record info on a form to be sent onto the feds, I can’t help but think……  Do I believe my life will be better one year from now?

It puts me in mind of the line in the old song, sung by Judy Garland in Meet Me in St. Louis…..  “next year all our troubles will be out of sight…”  But is it really true?  Will my life be better?  Worse?  About the same?  Not applicable? [that’s one of the options on our survey]  Who can say?

Sure, life will be different.  My daughter will be living overseas, experiencing her year as an exchange student.  My son will be completing his second year of college, and will perhaps have plans for a busy summer.   And I might just be working on a grant report and planning a fundraising event.  Once again.

What I’m really asking myself is this….  Do I have hope for the future?  Can I see beyond today?  Beyond the present circumstances.  Can I see a brighter tomorrow?  Do I trust and believe all will be well?

Currently, it’s one day at a time.  It’s looking forward to the next small accomplishment.  Hearing a friend/coworker on the phone, confirming another sponsor for our fundraiser.  Seeing the work people are willing to put in for a good cause.  Currently, it’s happily anticipating next week, when my son will arrive for summer break.  It’s looking forward to Thursday evening, when my daughter and I attend a fitness boxing class at the YMCA.  Oh, it’s also hitting the submit key on the federal report, knowing it’s behind me for another six months.

I suppose I do have hope.  I have happy moments now, and I look ahead to happier long terms.  While I’m not sure I can measure it [and I apologize to the federal government, as I’m not truly sure our grant can truly either], I do know I’m capable of creating my own demeanor and focusing on the positive.

I read James 1:17 this morning:

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

Right now, that’s hope for me.  God is not going to change.  He is light and he doesn’t darken.   He doesn’t vary.  And everything good comes from him.  Can you measure that?  I’m not sure.  Maybe in some supernatural way I’m not privy to.  Nevertheless [love that word!], it’s comforting information.

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