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Saturday, February 22, 2020

Finding Hope!

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Pamela Saturnia
Pamela Saturnia
Rev. Dr. Pamela S. Saturnia is the Pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Muscatine. In her free time she likes to travel, watch British television, golf, and hang out with her corgi, Louis.

Sometimes when I watch the news, it is hard not to despair of the world in which we are living. I wonder, do you feel the same way too? So, I have been trying to be more intentional about finding hope. It’s not that I am trying to “look on the bright side” and ignore the woes of the world, but I am trying to find balance by discovering or rediscovering what is good about the world we live in. The good news is there is hope and plenty of it.

Get outside and find hope! Take a hike. Really. Get outside and take a walk. Bundle up and get outdoors. An article by the editors in “Prevention” Magazine (October 25, 2017) tells of the benefits of walking outside every day. The first benefit is that you will be happier. “As you log miles your brain releases “happy” chemicals like serotonin and dopamine, that can lift your mood both during and after your workout. Walking outside has also been shown to lower rates of depression more effectively than walking indoors.” Take a hike and find hope.

Gather with others and find hope! When I think about the what I love most about getting together with others is the laughter. It’s about getting to know one another better and checking in and telling stories. Host a game night. Gather to watch a funny movie. Have dinner with friends. A friend of mine hosts a Sometimes Sunday Dinner. Or I have heard about Pop Up Potlucks. An invitation goes out on social media to come for dinner, and the first 10 people who respond are in. The host provides the main dish, and everyone brings a dish to share. Get together and find hope.

Look around to find hope! In the famous musical “Hamilton,” there is a song that begins, “Look around, look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now.” We are blessed to be alive in this time and place. And if we look around, we can see and experience much that gives us hope. The helpful and chatty teenager who loads my groceries in my car gives me hope. The neighbor who uses his snowblower to clear the snow from the entire block gives me hope. The people who host a monthly pet food pantry to make sure people can care for their animal companions gives me hope. The friends who support an elderly couple with rides and errands gives me hope. Look around and find hope.

Yes, there are plenty of things that can make us despair about our world. I believe there is even more that gives us hope.

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