Thank God it’s Fundamental Friday. This weekly article will venture into the fundamental elements of a variety of aspects of our lives and present the questions to us all, “Are we fundamental sound?”
HOPE: The fundamental words for this Friday.
HOPE is a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. It is the “why” or reason that helps us persevere through situations that may seem impossible to many. I was introduced to an acronym by a student that really speaks to what hope is. Hold. On. Pain. Ends. As we endure the pain and struggle which are a part of our daily journey through life, it is our desire and expectation the push us, pull us or basically keeps us moving down the path that leads to success.
The football position of wide receiver is one in which the athlete’s desire and expectation translates into a point of focus that blocks out all distractions and allows the athlete to make catches that are seemingly impossible. Training wide receivers for this type of focus requires establishing a desired outcome, catching the ball regardless of the situation. Several drills have been created to distract wide receivers while expecting them to catch the ball. It is not the coach’s expectation that is critical in these drills, but rather the athlete’s expectation for himself.
This type of desire and expectation can also be seen in the athlete that high jumps. Unlike football where there are opposing teams and players creating distractions, the distractions can be the athlete or the crowd when they begin to clap in rhythm as the athlete attempts to set a record. The desired outcome for the high jumpers can be distorted because the bar is at the athlete eye level or even worse the bar is over the athlete’s heads.
If the athlete’s expectation is to get up and over the bar, then everything he/she does should be in line with obtaining that expectation. As the level goes up, the athlete must maintain the attitude of I can do this which will help them keep their form, the speed on the approach, the lift and their technique as the athlete go over the bar.
In both these athletic examples, it is not enough to simple desire to catch a football or to jump a certain height, it is the expectation that “I will catch any ball thrown to me” or “I will jump over this next height”. The statement begins with an affirmative “I will” which sets the expectation. This expectation does not always translate into success the first time or any time after. This expectation allows athletes to go after a ball with a sense of I got this or allows that high jumper to go through his pre-jump routine, his approach and his actual jump with the attitude and technique required to be successful.
In our daily lives, this principle of hope can be applied in the same manner. The desire is like a dream. To only dream about goals without implementing a plan to obtain the goal would leave the dream in your mind. The expectation of making a dream come true requires actions. Therefore, in life when we hope for a desired outcome, we have to include an expectation.
Expectation encompasses a plan of action that equips us and prepares for struggle or pains that we have yet to face. Expectation translated into a positive attitude regardless of the situation, struggle or pain that endure. When we hope for something, what we are really saying is that I will work for the desired outcome I want. My attitude will not be altered by any situation that may arise and I will continue to press for the mark.
Those who truly have hope are easily recognized by their preparation and how they maintain a positive attitude in the midst of adversity.
Scripture uses HOPE in defining FAITH. In Hebrews 11:1, states, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” When we think about faith in God, it is not based on what we see but based on what we know God can do regardless of our situation. This faith is also an element in hope that is required as we push through life. Our success is seldom found in what we see or what someone else has done. Our success lies just beyond what we see, this is why our faith in God and ourselves, depends on what we hope for.
From the perspective of an athlete to that of a person who has faith in God, the element of hope is fundamental in obtaining our goals and moving through life with a great attitude in spite of what obstacle we may face. As we pursue goals and reach out for success in areas no one has ventured into, we must ease from desire into a point of expectation that will drive us to our final destination.
The concept of hope (Hold. On. Pain. Ends), is rooted in our attitude of expecting a desired outcome. Successful athletes do not have a desired outcome; they work hard and eventually get to a point of expectation that takes obstacles and adverse situation and turns them into opportunities for success. Similarly, in life, we have to have a similar attitude that will take a desires, move them into expectation and shift our attitude into a positive can-do attitude that will lead to successful outcome.
Fundamentally, we must realize how powerful hope is. When things or our situation seems to dim, it is the ray of hope that shines brightly. It is HOPE that gives us a positive attitude that carries us over any obstacle, through any situation and through any roadblock that stops those who lack hope. Remember, your hope is a fundamental element in moving through life with a positive attitude as you approach the success that awaits you.