the discipline of hope

There are things I wish were other than they are.
Some for which I’ve been wishing for years.
And while I do still wonder if there’s more I should be doing,
there’s a greater sense that it’s out of my hands—
that it’s the decision of others I now await.

But even as I wonder, regularly,
if it’s time to give up on some of these particular
long-lived, unrealized hopes,
I haven’t yet.

I still, in fact, imagine
joyfully—gratefully walking into what is not—
turning a corner into the very manifestation of what was longed for.
And imagining that it might momentarily be as I wish it were,
I can feel the anticipation quicken,
I can feel the hope grow,
even as I tell myself not to indulge this hope
because of how consistently I run into the disappointment that it’s not—
the frustration—
that bitter sense of why do I even still hope?
Isn’t it time to give up on this?

And yet, there’s enough intimation of what could be
not to let go.

Is that You, God?
Is that Your Lenten discipline
extending through all time?
I will not give up on what I wish were—
what I hope for—
what I work toward—
this dream of mine I have entrusted to others ….

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