Thursday, July 02, 2009

Wishful Thinking

Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady of the United States from 1933 to 1945, called wishful thinking America’s “besetting sin.” After her husband's death in 1945, she continued to be an internationally prominent author, speaker, politician, and activist for the New Deal coalition. She worked to enhance the status of working women, although she opposed the Equal Rights Amendment because she believed it would adversely affect women. She was also one of the founders of Freedom House.

The Mission Statement of Freedom House has these words in it, "Freedom House is an independent organization that supports the expansion of freedom in the world. Freedom is possible only in democratic political systems in which the governments are accountable to their own people; the rule of law prevails; and freedoms of expression, association, belief and respect for the rights of minorities and women are guaranteed."

"Freedom ultimately depends on the actions of committed and courageous men and women. We support nonviolent civic initiatives in societies where freedom is denied or under threat and we stand in opposition to ideas and forces that challenge the right of all people to be free. Freedom House functions as a catalyst for freedom, democracy, and the rule of law through its analysis, advocacy, and action."

So was she herself engaging in wishful thinking? Did God when He created us engage in wishful thinking? Is wishful thinking bad or just another name for hope?
Wishful thinking has a dream like or unrealistic quality to it. Hope can be based on wishful thinking or it can be based on a solid foundation. I am speaking about being born again to a living hope.

1 Peter 1:3-9 (English Standard Version)
“3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”

We do not have to depend on ourselves for our hope or on wishful thinking. For those of us with a disability and our families that is more than mere words. It is comfort to a hurting and shattered soul. It brings peace, which means we can begin to dream again. Not just of the bye and bye, but of tomorrow. A peace that means the rising sun no longer is something to dread, but rather something that just might if we are lucky bring some small joy.

©Ed Cooper, 2009
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