“There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives…”
Paul to the church in Rome
Henry Poole believes he is dying. In fact, his doctor told him as much. Tragically, as a middle-aged man, his happiest memories are from his childhood home. That was well before the problems with his parents started, when he experienced all those disappointments, and when he was given this death sentence.
It was the last place he could remember being happy.
So he buys a home in the old neighborhood, starts to drink a lot, and attempts to numb his final days. But he has a couple of big problems:
- Neither the home he purchased in the old neighborhood or consuming large amounts of alcohol is making him feel any better.
- The home he purchased in the old neighborhood is apparently healing everyone else that comes into contact with it.
The neighborhood busybody noticed the familiar face of Jesus in the stucco job on the side of his house. Oh yeah, and it appears to be crying tears of blood. Against Henry’s will, she introduces it to the neighborhood and her church.
With each passing revelation and miracle something really interesting starts to happen to Henry:
He gets angrier and angrier.
He is in short supply of the crucial ingredient of hope that everyone else seems to be bringing to the equation. Whether it is due to their hope and faith in general, or the attribution they all seem to be awarding the icon, miracles keep happening…to everyone but Henry.
Henry begins to feel (things he thought he would never feel) for a beautiful younger neighbor. Her daughter was one of the recipients of the miraculous and they inched their way into his life. His feelings for them and his desire to not be the next source of abandonment for them, puts him in a very precarious situation.
(I’ll leave the rest of the details to you and your older kids for a great family movie night and discussion.)
So what does this have to do with being a leader of a family or a business? In this story, it is the hope of everyone around the protagonist of the story that breathes a sense of hope into him. In my experience, however, it is typically the complete opposite.
Whether it is in families or companies, the hope that the members tend to carry, emanates from above. If the parents or company leaders (the protagonists in all our situations) tend to be hopeful with great expectations, everyone they lead tends to feel the same way. If they are negative and rueful, everyone else is shrouded by a similar perspective.
The apostle Paul spoke about this beautifully. He contended that having a good attitude (being hopeful), is the external manifestation of deeply held inner beliefs. Our being hopeful actually has very little to do with our external reality.
Hope is a choice.
It has nothing to do with our circumstances. It affects everyone it comes into contact with.
When the storm rages around your life and company and those you lead look into your face, do they find a hope and peace that surpasses understanding or the opposite?
- Are you generally a hopeful person?
- Do you help others find the same?
- How would it change those you love and lead if you carried more of this crucial resource?