Hope Springs Eternal

Michael J. Readinger

December. A final column for 2020. A year like none ever experienced by 99.9 percent of us. Advent.

As my thoughts swirl like blowing leaves of autumn and the first snows of winter; as I remember columns I have written at the end of each of the last 6 years; as I reflect on the tragedy of the two pandemics of 2020; and as I am drawn more deeply into Advent, the time of waiting, the recurring theme that lifts my soul is that hope springs eternal.

Where would we be without that blessed gift of hope? We would not be thinking about spring and the renewal of life made possible by the season of dormancy. We would not believe that our medical experts can heal or cure. There is no way we would have faith in human nature and our society to heal themselves. And surely, there would be nothing to wait for, no mysteries to uncover, and little to inspire us as we prepare for the holidays ahead. 

So, let’s allow hope to spring eternal. While we do not really need hope for the assurance of the arrival of spring, a great deal of hope is required if we are going to have an effective vaccination program for COVID-19. Even more hope will be essential before we are able to heal ourselves and our world from the ravages of systemic racism. And, a special reminder that, like the season of Advent and all that it offers us in hope, we are a people who know how to wait for what will sustain us, make us healthy and whole, and allow us to flourish. It is that hope, especially, which springs eternal.

However, hope is not the only or final answer. We need a strong desire and passion for change. We must be willing to put in the effort and the hard work to alter our deeply rooted fears, bias and hate. We need to keep our eyes, ears and hearts open to what may be if we prepare the way for our souls to accept the promises that hope may bring. Yes, hope springs eternal, but we must be vessels that provide a place for it to land so that we may embrace and enact the changes our world so desperately needs.

Sending you all wishes of Peace, Blessings and eternal Hope for the season of Advent and Christmas.

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