Making Stubborn Sparks

I’ve been thinking about hope a lot lately – partially because of Christmas and partially because of Star Wars. And also, because of a comment a friend made while we discussed Star Wars (before opening night) – when I asked his feelings in regard to The Last Jedi, his response stuck in my head: “I am doggedly hopeful.”

Doggedly hopeful.

In the week leading up to Star Wars, I heard “hope” discussed by my pastor at church, the radio DJ, and my friend (regarding the movie). And then we saw Star Wars – among the other themes of the movie, one constant undercurrent was dogged hopefulness…the unwillingness of Rey to abandon any of the people who seemed hopeless resounded in me (and my apologies for any spoilers).

As I mentally chewed on the movie (as I often do with movies – the curse/blessing of being a writer), I remembered my friend’s comment. Ever the wordsmith, I turned to my thesaurus to do some study on both “dogged” and “hope.”

Hope (noun): belief, ambition, anticipation, desire, confidence, faith, optimism, promise, reliance
Hope (verb): anticipate, believe, cherish, expect, aspire, await, foresee, pray, rely, trust, hang in, have faith
Dogged (verb): persistent, determined, relentless, resolute, steadfast, stubborn, tenacious, firm, steady, obstinate

When I looked over the words listed in the thesaurus, I only saw “wish” once. But the other words (anticipation, confidence, reliance, belief)seemed to drown out that one. Hope is not about blind wishing – it’s far more powerful than that. Hope is a well of strength.

In one of the last scenes in Star Wars, Cameron Poe galvanizes the diminished band of Resistant fighters to not give up: “we are the spark <of hope> that will light the fire that will burn down the Fire Order.”

At that point, they didn’t need a blazing bonfire…they just needed a spark. They needed to be reminded that they still had strength. They needed the reminder of hope.

Especially during this season of my life, when the things I want to be happening don’t seem to be happening, I have needed to be doggedly hopeful. I have needed to staunchly persist in my belief that God will fulfill His promise. Like the fighters, I have needed to know that the end is not the end.

My advice? The end is not the end. Just think of that kitten on the wire and hang in there.

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