With four children under ten, there’s a lot of pretending in our family. Whenever we hike or drive through the woods, we pretend to be on the lookout for “Hopenots.”

Hopenots are characters in the wonderful children’s book by Max Lucado, The Song of the King. They lurk in the woods, hoping to distract and defeat the noble knights who are striving to reach the king’s castle.

The knights travel through the forest and listen for the sound of the king’s ivory flute to guide them. But the Hopenots have learned to imitate the sound of the king’s flute. They confuse the knights – except for Cassidon, a knight who chooses the prince to be his traveling companion. The prince has an ivory flute to match the king’s, and plays the same song. Because Cassidon has the standard for truth at his disposal, and the prince as his companion, he doesn’t get confused in his journey to reach the king. He stays on the noble path, and prevails!

It’s a simple fact we often miss: staying on the path is a good part of the journey, or race, that we call life. But we can’t do it alone. We need people alongside us who are playing the King’s song.

In UpStreet we say, “It takes ‘uncommon sense’ to make the wise choice.” We are surrounded by “hopenots” who seek to distract us from the journey to know God, and we need to be sure we’re listening to the right flute, and the right song.

Are you developing relationships with people who will help you stay on the path?

Making noble choices. Making use of the standard of truth that we have. Watching for Hopenots. Why not start a Community Group this fall?

Then, we can be useful to the King, and prepared to do any good work!