Hope over Cynicism

“I cannot be an optimist but I am a prisoner of hope” – Cornell West

A few Sundays ago a few friends and I went to hear Derek Webb and his wife Sandra McCracken perform in concert. Derek Webb, in some ways, has come a long way in his personal journey; from writing and singing in a band by the name of Caedmon’s Call to having a solo career that is good…but alas it draws flack from some followers of Christ due to the content of his music.

If there’s one thing that lit a light bulb over my head during the times between songs was when he started talking about hope, to which Derek Webb made the comment that if we are cynical, if we possess cynicism we weed out any seeds of hope. I’m a cynic, a skeptic, and yet I am hopeful and yet any cynicism I have uproots any hope I have…and I do recognize that in my life; I give up on people, I give up on governments, I give up on things that have sketchy and yet undecided futures.
I’m a doubting Thomas and a “blessed are those who have not seen and have believed” (John 20:29) in the same breath, and yet I don’t want to be… So one of my prayers for myself as of late has been for God to help me choose hope over cynicism, I’m fine with being a skeptic because a healthy dose of skepticism is…well…healthy! But hope over cynicism, that’s an uphill battle for me, but I am seeing it unfold in my life; just last Sunday a woman shared how she listens to Mark Driscoll & finds The Purpose Drive Life to be beneficial…and you know what, when I heard that I rolled my eyes and prayed over in silence…but I was cut off before I could finish my prayer for the woman and God instilled in me His prayer for her; a prayer that pretty much said if she finds God’s truth in Mark Driscoll and The Purpose Driven Life may it aid to her spiritual growth! That is not me!

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In my spiritual growth I recognize how much is not about me, heck that’s how TPDL opens up…been there done that, but for the woman this might be new territory for her, and so my hope…God’s hope in this scenario is she grows from what she gleans from the book. I don’t think I will ever get to the point where I can dust my hands and say confidently I’m no longer a cynic, but life is as much about the journey as the destination.

~Nathanael~

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