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The Path of Hope

Editorial by Terry Forde

Nearly 100 years ago, in 1921, Chinese essayist Lu Xun wrote, “Hope is like a path in the countryside. Originally, there is nothing –but as people walk this way again and again, a path appears.”

If you come across a path in a woods, or across a field, you may ask: “Where does this path lead?” or “Why is there a path here?”

Paths don’t just come out of nowhere. Sometimes they exist because people started walking there for a shortcut. Sometimes they exist because someone planned them out on a map and set about creating them. In either case, someone had to pave the way.

If you’ve ever been out on a hike and suddenly the path disappeared, you know how disquieting that can be. The best paths are those that have been strengthened by the repeated use of other travelers. They are the paths that are created, as Lu Xun says, “as people walk this way again and again.”

These paths take time and persistence. They are walked day after day, season after season. They become so clearly defined by constant use that there is no danger they might disappear.

At this moment, when there is so much uncertainty in the world, I love the idea that hope is a path. Our hopes endure each day because we are not walking alone; there are others walking this path with us and sharing the journey. One of the reasons that I am hopeful – even in the midst of the pandemic – is because I know who shares the pathway with me.

Our Mission statement describes a path of hope: “We extend God’s care through the ministry of physical, mental and spiritual healing.” Let “extend” become “build a pathway,” and our Mission is “to build a pathway of God’s care...”

We don’t accept or believe in fate – we believe in God’s leadership and care. Life has meaning and purpose – and that purpose is to extend God’s care in a way that creates pathways and hope. We believe in a God who created us in His image, a Divine Being filled with love and grace, who urges us along a pathway in which we extend that same love and grace to those around us.

The prophet Isaiah expressed it thus: “Cease to dwell on days gone by and to brood over past history. Here and now I will do a new thing ... I will make a way even through the wilderness and paths in the barren desert” [Isaiah 43:18-19, NEB].
Time to follow it – and find out where it goes!

Terry Forde
President & CEO Adventist HealthCare

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