When naivety and hope seem the same

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I have a tendency to attach meaning to everything. Even simple, minor things that occur in my life become deeper to me. I long for every situation to matter and to have a distinct purpose in my life. This is why I become passionate about everything I do. This is in itself a wonderful thing, but comes with risk. Risk in expectations. Risk in confusing inconsequential events with turning points in life. 

This whole thing sounds like I am not content with my life. I am. I am beyond grateful. I am healthy and so are those that I love.  I have a Savior who died for me and my future is in Heaven. On a deep level, I am happy. There is plenty of hope in this description of life. 

As a pharmacist, I see people at their absolute worst day in and day out. I keep a running prayer list by my bed of people who need God to show up so badly. All of them are unique, but they all have the same look in their eyes: a mix of desperation and hope. People who have had life turn them inside out. Everywhere are people dying, losing their homes and jobs, wondering what will continue to sustain them in this life. I believe in the power of prayer and the power of compassion towards others, who seem to need God so much more than me. 

I come from a long line of pessimism. I tend to call it educated realism, but this opposes hope. Why expect the best when you can prepare for the worst? In my quest to attach meaning to everything, I look for God's grand purpose all the time. When I felt a deep desire to move to Nashville last year, I rejoiced at the idea that my God had a working plan for me. The idea of moving became so enticing and powerful that the idea attached itself to my very soul. When this plan fell through, I was left feeling naive. Did I think something as simple as the city I lived in was that important to God? That when half the people on my prayer list are dying in hospitals, my living situation mattered? These expectations leave me empty and wondering if meaning is not found in small novelties like I previously thought. Is being naive and hopeful in fact the same thing? Do I need to be constantly reminded that grand visions for the future are my un-transcended mind not being grateful for simplicity? 

In prayer this morning, I was reminded that my God is hope. By His very nature, He embodies hope. He represents all the moving desires in our hearts, for He put them there. The definition of naivety is "a lack of experience, wisdom, or judgement". This is a negative word with a negative meaning in our society. No one wants to lack wisdom. But then I looked up synonyms. A few I thought were interesting were innocence, trustfulness, unworldliness. Does God not call me to trust? To be unlike the world? To strive for innocence and purity? 

Despite the confusion that can be caused from being naive, I will continue to be. I will see God's grand vision in even the smallest of joys. I will be unlike the world in my passion for situations and people. I know my God is working on big things for my life and He is working on yours too. You matter. Your life has a grand picture that will change the lives of those around you. Your life is significant and hope is available to everyone who is willing to grasp it. 

Naivety and hope may seem like one in the same, but I am no longer convinced that this is a bad thing. 



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