Never lose hope

My kids were crushed. We had loaded everyone into the car, they were all pretty young at the time, and we were going to spend the day at an amusement park near us, but on the drive, it started raining. My wife and I had been in such a hurry that neither of us had thought to check the weather. A large band of clouds had moved in, and the forecast called for rain the rest of the day. We considered continuing on the trip, but the park was on the pricey-side, and we expected that many of the rides would be closed.

I looked in the mirror at the backseat and saw three disappointed kids. I thought about turning the car around and heading back home, but it seemed like such a downer. We all been working hard, running ourselves ragged, and needed a break.

Image by Somben Chea via Pexels.

Thinking on my feet

Out of nowhere, I had a brainchild and turned off the next exit, surprising my wife, and pulled into a parking lot. My wife gave me a look of confusion and then a second look of understanding when she saw where we were at. She shook her head yes. I had pulled into an out-of-the-way bulk candy and nut store.

We had talked about stopping lots of times but had never made it there. The kids had no idea where we were headed. When we got out of the car, they started to complain about “having to do mom and dad shopping” until we walked inside. Once there, their eyes got huge. The store was full of homemade chocolate and fudge and many of the old candies that my wife and I grew up with as kids. We walked around the store and my wife and I reminisced about the candies we used to like: Pixy Stix, which came in paper straws; tart-tasting Smarties; Razzles, fruit-flavored candy that turned into gum; Tootsie Rolls; and lollipops, jawbreakers and gumballs of every shape and size.

Of course, we gave each of the kids a small bag and allowed them to pick out a “reasonable” amount of their own favorites. I remember putting much focus on the word “reasonable.” My daughter, always wise for her age, picked out a mixture of candies, while my two sons headed straight toward the jawbreakers. When we were back in the car, they all loved splurging from dad’s pile of Raspberry and Blackberry soft chewy fruit flavored jellies covered in candy seeds, orange slices, and red raspberry dollars. (This does make me wonder, why Dad’s? Why didn’t he get to enjoy his own stash? Yes, poor, poor dad.)

On the way home, we stopped for ice cream and ran around a local park with a large slide, swings, and monkey bars. I knew we had to run off the sugar somehow. When we got home later that evening, before running upstairs to get their baths, the kids thanked us for a great day. 

Image by Somben Chea via Pexels.

Turning bad into good

My faith comes and goes, I’m very much human, but when I think about the meaning of Good Friday I think of days like that one, when we hoped and expected one thing, it didn’t work out the way we wanted, and instead we found something better. Oh, our “Weekend Day Out is small potatoes compared to the Good Friday story, none of us were ever in danger or risked being injured, we were just momentarily disappointed. Both days, though, have the same general theme, the idea of something bad, turning into something good. 

“When Good Friday comes, these are the moments in life when we feel there’s no hope,” Coretta Scott King said, “But then, Easter comes.” 

Yes, King was so right, Easter does come. 

For years in Roman times, the cross meant the worst of all possible deaths. It was a horrific way to die. It was a slow, painful death. Jesus Christ came along though, and the cross came to represent new life. 

I’m not trying to evangelize to anyone, my evangelization skills leave a lot to be desired. However, my simple message is this: Whether you believe or not, Good Friday shows that you should never lose hope. To steal from opera singer Robert Breault, “The lesson of Good Friday is to never lose hope — or at least give it 48 hours.”

There is always hope. 

48 thoughts on “Never lose hope

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  1. I’m not religious any more Brian, bit I think your message of hope, of not giving up but persevering is universal. Also, I’d say also, from the experience you shared, we need to take a step back when things seem tough and find a different perspective.

    I’m sure the kids did have a great day out. And it reminds me of happy times of family days out as a child.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Never lose hope. Turn lemons into lemonade. Turn a looming sugar high into a day at the park.Turn the corner from disappointment to joy. What a great day, Brian, and what a heartwarming story. Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Now this is my idea of a truly excellent message about hope and finding good/better outcomes when you take the time to look for them, Good Friday or any other day. Believer or no believer. Great job, Brian.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. I like your lovely message, Brian, and I think it’s one that can cross different bridges and beliefs.

    I love the story of how you turned a potential rainy day disappointment into a fun day that your kids will remember. Wonderful thinking on the spot!

    Have a nice long weekend.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. What a wonderful story, and I bet the candy store surprise was equal to or better than the amusement park in the kids’ eyes. What fun! And, as others have mentioned, the message of never losing hope is a powerful one… and something we could all stand to be reminded of now and again.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Thank you so much Brian! We all need to be reminded, every once in awhile, not to lose hope. Going to the candy store and thus saving the day was truly a stroke of parental genius! And you made me smile to learn that Pixy Stix still exist: haven’t had one in, must be, 5 decades but just the thought made my mouth water 🙂💕🙏

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh my gosh Brian, what a beautiful message of a simple modern-day parable that lets us know there is always hope in dismal looking situations. I was talking with one of my brothers about that this morning, especially since our parents are gone. I love your ministry, not in the sense of a pew and pulpit kind, but a message from your keyboard pulpit. Even though this occurrence of yours happened years ago, you have shown us how disappointment turns into joy! This is awesome Brian. Enjoy your Easter weekend and bask in the spirit of love, joy, peace, forgiveness, and praise my friend! 🤗🙏🏼😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Kym. My pulpit leaves a lot to be desired though. I worried at first about offending people. Yes, we were able to turn a disappointing day around, but I feared someone might assume I was making comparisons to Jesus. Yes, I worry too much. Saying all that, I’m really glad the message of hope cane through! Such an important message nowadays!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Glad you were able to turn things around for the kids. I always thought Good Friday should be called Bad Friday, but I suppose you can make a case for Good considering it all worked out for the best eventually.

    Liked by 1 person

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