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What's on Your Horizon

How spectacular is this garden view?

It makes me smile and gives me hope. Recently, I found myself in need of hope. With some late-breaking developments, I have been searching the horizon, so to speak, with the intent of spotting a bit of hope on it. I was reminded at the Shawshank prison/museum in Ohio last week that hope really is probably one of the most important things we can ever attain in life.

In the movie, one of the leading characters, Red (played by Morgan Freeman,) a prisoner who began with no hope, befriended another prisoner, Andy (Tim Robbins), and a true friendship blossomed. Andy was wrongly imprisoned for a crime he did not commit but he never lost hope of finding his escape out. After more than 40 years in the Penn, when Red was finally released, Andy's hope had rubbed off on him. Most prisoners never make it on the outside after a lifetime of incarceration, but Red expressed on the bus to his new life, "Hope is a good thing, maybe one of the best things, and no good thing ever dies."

This really is a message of hope.

Because of its rough language and intensely violent experience, it is one of those movies which is great to catch when its edited version comes to TV. Today, there is still an active prison on the rear of the property but it is a museum in the front. It was a sobering moment to step foot into one of the tiny cells (6 X 10 feet, with a bunk bed for two prisoners, a sink, a toilet, and nothing else but bars.) But its message of hope is one that will resonate with anyone. Figuratively speaking, we all have our personal prisons, whether in relationships, job situations, constraints we place on ourselves with self-limiting beliefs, debts, or any other type of barrier/bondage.

Hope on the horizon.

Often, it isn't easy to do, but we must always look for hope. Martin Luther said, "Everything that is done in this world is done by hope." It is a powerful force because it comes from the Almighty. "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen," Hebrews 11:11. Hope helps us develop faith and faith can move the mountains in our lives that prevent us from healing, true happiness, and success. God is always with us and will empower us to accomplish greatness, if we trust him to guide us.

Ben White on Unsplash

I continue to hold onto hope.

I know things don't always turn out the way we expect but I still look upwards to imagine a hopeful outcome in the end. Just as Joseph (of the coat of many colors,) in the Bible, looked for the silver lining when he was sold as a slave into Egypt and when he was falsely imprisoned in the Pharaoh's dungeon, (Genesis 37:27, 39, 45: 5-8,) I try to look for silver linings in my obstacles and setbacks.

And I hope for you, too, that you will find the hope, happiness, and healing for which you search by breaking free from whatever is holding you prisoner in your life. May you smile at the beauty along the way and, as always, all the best in your journey of success.

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