Hopeful Pessimist

It’s been a while since I’ve shared my thoughts on politics, religion and my life. Truth is, I’ve kept most of my contemplation to myself. But today I am compelled to share with you an update of where I am in this journey called life. As always, I’ll be candid, so if I say some offensive things please know that being offensive is not my intention.

From getting a new job, to getting pregnant, to finding a new congregation, this has been a year of change. And at the heart of this change has been hope.

Hope.

For a pessimist and cynic like me, hope is hard to come by. I tend to view a cup as half-empty over half-full. When I was having a difficult time finding a job, I questioned my competence as a graphic designer. I questioned my investment in higher education. After many failures of our trying to get pregnant and a miscarriage, I questioned any possibility that I would be a dad. And after months and months of not finding a congregation that cared more about a community than its programs and building, I questioned the authenticity of local Christians. Add to this piles of unpaid bills and the preconditions of my religious skepticism and we have ourselves a nasty mess of hopelessness that could lead a person like me, with a family history of mental illnesses, into depression.

Hope.

At times when one’s faith is at its weakest, hope can keep him moving forward. Skepticism jabs at my faith everyday. One day, I am a believer in God. The next day, I’m an atheist and think anyone that believes in God is an idiot. If one does not have God to hold on to,  rather, if one does not believe he has God to hold on to, his faith has no stability. But, if one hopes there is a God he can hold on to, perhaps his faith can keep from totally breaking. Hope is what keeps me living for Jesus even when I question who he is and what he stands for. Hope is what has made this difficult year a year of positive change and growth.

I now have a great job — I’m working with awesome people who are passionate about graphic design.

I have a beautiful wife who will soon give birth to a beautiful little girl.

My wife and I found a congregation where people are passionate about the city. And although my intellect is more than often in dissension with God, my relationship with Him is ever-growing — a paradox of God’s unconditional love and grace.

People, if I did not have hope to hold on to, I would not be able to acknowledge these great blessings that I have shared with you. After all, without hope, there’s nothing to be hopeful for.

And I’m feeling pretty hopeful these days.