I have been told over and over in my life that “information is power” … maybe so, but I firmly believe that there is power in Hope!
Let’s go back in history for a moment. On December 17, 1927, the USS S-4 submarine was conducting routine drills off the coast of Massachusetts and attempting to resurface when it smashed into a U.S. Coast Guard destroyer. According to Wikipedia: The sub sank immediately, and drowned 34 of the 40 men on board. Six men in the forward torpedo room survived and communicated with divers by tapping in Morse code on the sub’s hull, but severe weather delayed the rescue and the trapped survivors died after three days.
From this torpedo room the trapped men did their best to communicate with anyone that would be able to help them. While crews worked diligently on the surface to free the sailors from their underwater prison, divers were sent into the water to see what options they had. While underwater, one of the divers heard tapping that was determined to be Morse code. The sailors inside the torpedo room kept repeating the same question, “Is… there… any…hope…?”
For the men in that torpedo room on that submarine, hope was the difference between life and death. They hoped to be rescued. Hope is the only thing that is stronger than fear! Quoting Dieter F. Uchtdorf: “Hope is like the beam of sunlight rising up and above the horizon of our present circumstances. It pierces the darkness with a brilliant dawn.”
Throughout my life Hope has given me the power to keep moving, to fight another day, and to put one foot in front of the other. Hope has always given me a quiet assurance that my circumstances can and will change. We need to be positive and remember that anyone without hope lives in defeat.
Look at your life … I look at my life quite often! By looking we will see that hope has the power to change everything. It may not be the difference between life and death, as it was for the sailors on the submarine, but the outcomes of our decisions drastically alter our future.
When I think about hope I always think of the words from Jim Valvano at the very first ESPYs in 1993, when he received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. Last month as my family was leaving NC Special Olympic Village on NC State’s Campus, in the dark I walked past a life size statue of Jim Valvano. I immediately asked my son to take a photo of me and Jim. It was a good teaching moment for two of my grandchildren when they me asked who was “that man.”
I have never been a NC State fan … but I am definitely a Jim Valvano fan. His words of Hope carried me through my Triple Negative Breast Cancer treatments six years ago. I know I have recited this to you many times … but it is definitely worth repeating:
“When people say to me how do you get through life or each day, it’s the same thing. To me, there are three things we all should do every day. We should do this every day of our lives. Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. Number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day. That’s a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special. ….. It’s so important to know where you are. I know where I am right now. How do you go from where you are to where you want to be? I think you have to have an enthusiasm for life. You have to have a dream, a goal. You have to be willing to work for it. ….. I urge all of you, to enjoy your life, the precious moments you have. To spend each day with some laughter and some thought, to get your emotions going. To be enthusiastic every day and as Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Nothing great could be accomplished without enthusiasm,” to keep your dreams alive in spite of problems whatever you have. The ability to be able to work hard for your dreams to come true, to become a reality. ….. My motto is, “Don’t give up . . . don’t ever give up.” And that’s what I’m going to try to do every minute that I have left. I will thank God for the day and the moment I have. If you see me, smile and maybe give me a hug. That’s important to me too. … I know, I gotta go, I gotta go; and I got one last thing, and I said it before, and I’m gonna say it again. ….. Cancer can take away all my physical abilities. It cannot touch my mind, it cannot touch my heart and it cannot touch my soul. And those three things are going to carry on forever.”
No wiser nor profound words ever spoken. When we have hope we see a different future for ourselves … one where our problems, issues and failings are not the leading headlines in our lives. But we must remember that hope requires us to be patient and let our loving Heavenly Father work out the details of our circumstances.
I love the words of President Russell M. Nelson from a devotion he gave at BYU. He said: “If we will cling to the anchor of hope, it will be our safeguard forever.” I love that word: FOREVER!
So, let me ask the question: What can having hope do for you? From my years of experience, I believe I have the answer! Hope shines its brightest when you are looking for the light at the end of a tunnel of despair.
Hope will motivate you when you are discouraged and feel lost. Hope helps you endure hardship when you feel that no one cares. Hope helps you climb the mountains of adversity when no one seems to be helping. Hope will energize you when you are tired and feel you can’t go on. I am so thankful that I have allowed hope to guide me each day of my journey here on earth. I can never thank those in my life who shared their hope with me and kept me optimistic. Now it’s time for you to give Hope a place in your life. It’s worth it!
Hope is a force that’s wild and free. It can’t be contained; it can’t be explained. When things are at their darkest, remember that hope is at its strongest. Never underestimate the power of hope.
Just saying …
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One thought on “Hope Makes a Difference”
Very good reminder for us all! Thanks for sharing!