Maybe a gift of Easter is the gift of hope, a hope that never dies. Maybe realizing this hope is the key to living as an Easter people.
Back a few years ago, I played a lazy Saturday afternoon round of golf with my dad. To amp up the intensity a tad we put a little wager on the outcome: loser buys a tall glass of lemonade at the end of the round. It wasn’t the type of bet that would make anyone lose his job nor really hurt the pocketbook, except that . . . my wallet was emptier than a Irish pint in a Dublin pub. I had no bills in my wallet. Nothing. Zero cash to pay up if I lost. I knew this going in, but I kept this key piece of information from my father.
With two holes left to play I trailed Dad by one shot. This was common territory for me. In our legendary battles I had lost more often than the Washington Generals (the perpetual opponent of the Harlem Globetrotters). For some reason though this time, I felt undaunted, undeterred. If he parred the last two holes, I’d need to have back-to-back birdies to win the match. If my name was Eldrick, if I had the steely intensity of a guillotine and if my rippling muscles stretched my red Sunday shirt to the point of seams tearing, this feat would be slightly more attainable. But my name is Blake, I’ve got the natural drive of a hibernating bear and to have my muscles rip a shirt would require the employ of a child’s size small garment. Nevertheless, I felt confident.
I stuck my tee shot on #17 about five feet away and made the putt. Dad parred. We walked to the last hole, a short par four, all tied. I reached for my driver, usually wilder than an Amish boy on rumspringa, and fired a shotgun blast that trickled onto the edge of the green. Dad missed his birdie putt, I casually two-putted for my own birdie, and we walked off the course with him reaching for his wallet rather than me. Only then did I mention the fact that I would not have been able to pay had I lost. Dad looked at me and said, “You were playing with the confidence of a gambler who had nothing but his shirt to pay with.”
Indeed I was. I had the one thing in my wallet far more valuable than any Jacksons. I had hope.
Today is a day that celebrates the fact that no matter the evil that lurks in this world, no matter the despair that wants to swallow us whole, hope lives. Because of an empty tomb, hope lives. Because he arose, hope lives.
And hope lives on, buoying us for whatever lies ahead, even when the way goes drear. Because hope lives, perspective blooms. Confidence grows.
Because of today, I dare to hope . . .
. . . that my children will mature and become dynamic servants in this world.
. . . that my marriage will continue to thrive.
. . . that the kids I teach will become responsible disciples.
. . . that the church will lead.
. . . that hearts will mend.
. . . that families will bond.
. . . that wrongs will be righted.
. . . that the lost will be found.
. . . that the blind will see.
. . . that the lame will walk.
. . . that the hurt will lessen.
. . . and that love will win.
That’s my Easter reflection and it comes with the hope that your day is blessed with peace and confidence in the days to come.
What does Easter mean to you? Why is it a day above all other days to celebrate and rejoice in?
P.S. The Write Project sincerely thanks all the new followers who joined the party in the last couple of days. Now I need to figure out a way of writing the Freshly Pressed folks into my will.