I spend a lot of my workday reading fourth-grade papers. Every week for homework, spelling words have to be used in sentences. There is a wide range of what is created and turned in. While reviewing them, I laugh; sometimes wrinkle my brow or scratch my head while I correct with my red pen. Sometimes the sentences make little sense to me at first. For example, when the word “disappoint” had to be used, one child wrote, “It is hard to disappoint your fun.” That’s true, if you think about it. Last week another sentence caught my attention. It stayed with me like the smell of the fourth-grade class after recess on a hot day. I found the sentence thought provoking. The spelling word was “collect.” One boy wrote, “I want to collect hope.” Those words touched my heart.
We are a society that revolves around collecting stuff. My big sister had a pig collection growing up. I collected Indian Head Nickels. My younger son collects sticks. My other son used to collect Pokemon cards. My husband collects technical computer programming books. My house collects dust. My money collects interest (sometimes). My car collects miles. My dogs collect fleas.
Could you imagine if people started to collect the likelihood of success we call hope? What if we sought out the feeling that something desirable is likely to happen? What an abstract thought! Think about it. The best thing about hope is that you can never collect it all. There is enough for everyone, it is affordable and is extremely uplifting. Hope is filled with great excitement, ocean-deep desire, and endless possibility. Everyone’s hope collection would look different, just like those fourth-grade sentences.
Like that fourth grader, I want to collect hope. My first piece of hope is that my son will never, ever have another heart surgery. This piece of collected hope looks like a grown healthy, happy, peaceful and satisfied man. The other hope is that my Aunt Linda will beat cancer for the third time. That piece of hope has her wrapped in good health, watching her grandchildren grow from little people into successful, amazing adults. For today, the last wish I will add is my hope to be, not a good wife and mother, but a loving wife and mother. These first three pieces in my collection will be stored in my heart and handled with anticipation and care. I will take pleasure in my new mental collection and be reminded that there is always a chance that something desirable will happen or be possible if we collect enough hope.