Times are hard right now. In addition to the usual concerns of the day (the economy, the healthcare system, political rivalries, etc.) there are any number of thorny issues that are pressing on the populace, demanding attention and threatening our demise.
Is this a harbinger of our END?
I do not want to be blindsided, or bushwhacked. And I’m sure you do not either. But how many times in your life have you felt things were about to come unglued? Personally. Socially. Nationally. Internationally.
We are told that history repeats itself; that nothing lasts forever. And those things are indeed true. But there is an innate capacity in the human spirit, one of resilience, the God-given drive to bounce back, to reestablish, to redeem.
It’s called HOPE.
You cannot live long without it. Life is merely a drudgery traversing a landscape of barren, worthlessness without hope.
Relationships require hope to survive. Nations are skeletons of rudderless, seafaring vessels without hope. Our world with all its diversity and multifarious cultures only thrives if there is hope. But . . . with hope . . . even broken relationships can be redeemed, nations can grow eagle’s wings, and our world . . . can be reestablished.
Now, I am not so naive as to present to you dreams of Utopia; I do not believe that is possible in this world. That is not the goal. If it is, then it is a foolhardy goal. But what I do believe is that within each of us, in the midst of the battle that our dark side promotes, is a life-giving desire to do right, to promote wellness, to establish goodness. I call this the Imago Dei; you may call it something else. Nevertheless, it is present, even if you have no name for it whatsoever.
And we are in dire need of calling on it in these hard times.
Look deep inside. If you have struggled with depression over these last many months, if you have become disillusioned with the state of the world or the country, if you have been disappointed in the political, medical, or social answers that have been touted as panaceas to our ills . . . refuse to give up the one, innate attribute you most need: HOPE.
It has carried us through difficult times in the past, and it will do so again. This is not our first rodeo. We have been here before. Time tends to erase part of our memory, doesn’t it?
Whether you prefer to quote Winston Churchill’s “Never, never, never, never, never give up!” or Jesus’s “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world,” it is right to cling to hope.
Are you angry? That is understandable.
Are you depressed? So are many of us.
Are you discouraged, disillusioned, disappointed? There are many who are.
Are you frightened? Only fools would not be.
If so . . . even if the hope is in embryonic form . . . you will begin to kindle the resilience needed to weather the current storm.
Hope refuses to be defeated. And the fallout from hope is always kindness, empathy, goodness, and a heart more-than-ready for hard work.