A cycle is a series of events that are regularly repeated in the same order. It is also known as a pattern. We get into them in our relationships, in the way we move our body, in our exercise habits, and the list goes on.
Can you distinguish a healthy pattern from an unhealthy one?
That takes intentionality. It requires an honest appraisal of ourselves. By nature, a healthy view of ourselves is not instinctive. Sin complicates our views and choices and perpetuates unhealthy patterns.
Have you ever felt stuck–like you were running over the same old ground?
Have you looked one hundred different ways at extenuating circumstances attempting to break the cycle, but you are still in the rut?
Maybe it is time to shift your focus. Ouch–I know, but what if you leverage hope to develop a new pattern? What if you expect the promise instead of laboring over past infractions? What if you turn your attention to leaning into your calling instead of policing the actions of others?
We are a people inclined to desire control–over people and circumstances. As Einstein has been crediting with saying, insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Believing we have control is insane. We might know that cognitively, but what makes surrendering the illusion of control so difficult? Fear. We think we want something new, but most of us are content to stay in familiar patterns because at least they are known.
With a tiny pivot toward surrender, an entirely new world opens up. Cycles are interrupted. Patterns change. Something new is possible.
However, this is all contingent on where you place your hope. All of us put our hope somewhere. If it is in the behavior of someone else, you will grow frustrated when they let you down. If it is in the prospect of a new job, you will be back to square one if that job doesn’t turn out as you expect.
The biblical definition of hope is to trust in, wait for, look for, or desire something or someone; or to expect something beneficial in the future. True hope is found in Jesus. The details of this world lose priority over us when we have our eyes fixed on eternity.
Not sure where to start?
Spend a few minutes developing the pattern of a gratitude mindset. Give thanks for all the gifts in your life. Acknowledge the presence and provision of Christ amidst your circumstances. Exalt the Savior more than your situation. Exercise hope in the provision of your Creator.
Where are you placing your hope? What might be different for you if you paid attention to where or what you have hoped in? How can you leverage hope today?