The Roller Coaster that is Hope

I saw a news clip the other night about the the return of “Twister-2”, the iconic wood—framed roller coaster that was brought over from the original Elitch Gardens. The use of “roller coaster” as a metaphor leaves a clear message. Sometimes you are going up, sometimes going through a dark tunnel only to find yourself plunging into a seemingly uncontrollable decent. “Twister-2” is quite the experience. It is classically old-school. Rickety and a bit shaky. Unlike the new metal frame rides it is very noisy. Supposedly they have built into the ride some even more ‘scare-the-bejeezus’ experiences. There is little that draws me to amusement parks these days, however, as a lifetime fan of Twister I might give it a whirl.

Now to my point—A friend of mine who has negotiated the twists and turns of buying a small business during Covid said this, “Some times I hate having hope as it keeps me from giving up and moving on.” Long story short— just when it appeared that it was time to send up the white flag, they had some very encouraging days in their store. I found the irony of “hating hope” something that worked on me.

I know this person well, they are smart, resilient, hardworking and positive. To find themselves drawn again by hope did not surprise me, but I get the paradox of letting go or holding on. As Paul says in Romans 5 “affliction produces endurance, endurance produces character and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame.” Well, I do know this—that when we are in the middle of deep struggles these words can sound hollow and yet hope calls us forward.

I have never felt more confused and backed in a corner than I currently do. To watch the evil that is the Russian invasion of Ukraine, to experience the weekly constancy of mass shootings and the cowardice of politicians who are bought and sold by the gun lobby can drain my “hope reserves”. I have a much longer list but I will spare you.

This Sunday I will celebrate Easter for the 74th time in my life. And the hope of the “Empty Tomb” will touch me. Why do I let hope grab me??? Well, as painful as it is to jump on the “Hope Roller Coaster” it beats wasting my time making excuses.

Onward and Upward,


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