When I was a youth director back in the day I was trying to explain Lent to my kids.  During youth group one night I highlighted the idea of "giving things up for Lent" and what that meant.  Most of the kids were pretty receptive but I had one young man who really had a hard time taking anything seriously. I'll call him Bill.

After detailing the historical, theological, spiritual and emotional motivations for giving up something for Lent we had a brief and fairly meaningful discussion through which Bill remained mostly quiet.  I had no visions of grandeur when it came to him taking an idea home with him.

To my surprise, a few days later Bill knocked on my office door and asked if he could chat for a bit.  I said, "sure" so he came in and took a seat.  From there he began to talk to me, very seriously, about how he had been "internalizing" our conversation from the other night about Lent and that after much soul searching and deliberation he had come to the conclusion that he was feeling "spiritually called" to seriously consider giving something up for Lent.  Surprised I responded, "Wow, Bill.  That's pretty cool.  What are you thinking about giving up for Lent?"  Bill closed his eyes, lowered his head and paused for a long moment.

I was thinking to myself, "Wow, it seems like there is something pretty intense going on here."

After a significant pause Bill looked up at me and said calmly, "Hope, Sara.  I'm giving up Hope." At this the impish grin returned to his face and he winked at me then got up and left my office.  

Today I am feeling intoxicatingly hopeful.  Call it a temporary mental snafu or an optimistic bent on life, whatever you will, but today I can't help but be excited.  I'm trying really hard not to follow this up with a lightly sarcastic jab about how this surely means I'm about to get some bad news.  I won't do it...today is hopeful.

So here's to throwing a little hope into the universe and hoping it sticks.
Are you hoping for anything in particular these days?


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