I have just returned from a trip south through Texas, west into SanDiego all the way up the coast north through Sacramento and back east through Nevada, Nebraska and Iowa etc. I have seen a lot of sights and met a lot of people. I saw everything from the elite and luxurious class of this country’s citizenry to the vagabond and poverty stricken individuals who live among them. I saw gangs and cliques, the happy and the hopeless. Looking back on it all, one could soon come to the conclusion that this world, indeed this country is in very bad shape. Not many people care for each other, most are looking out for their number one, self. There is so much hurt and misery from the child to the elderly. Their faces tell the story.
What is astounding is that there was just as much hurt, hopelessness, anxiety and distress seen in the countenance of the well-to-do as there was in the woman sitting in the smoke riddled Casino, puffing, drinking and gambling her life away. Why? Nice houses, clothes and cars don’t buy happiness and hope? Unfortunately, it would be rather difficult I suppose to convince the beggar that his unhappiness is not a result of his lot in life; that even if he could trade places with the man who just cruised by in the Aston Martin would not cure him of his ailment for long. What is this restlessness that is the human syndrome?
While there is much I could continue to say about the evil, crime, destruction and deterioration that is our culture, there is also much good. Good can be found if you are of the mind to look for it. There was beauty everywhere. Was the beauty at times tainted with the stench of depravity, sure it was. That does not change the fact that there was still good present. There was good in the smile of the single mother waitress who got a tip she was not expecting, there was good in the face of the man who had to come home from work and be with his children while I came into his house to assist his family. There was beauty in the landscape that is still untouched by the hand of men who may choose to pollute and pillage it. There is good everywhere if you choose to see it, and it’s worth fighting for.
Things will continue to spiral out of control, that much is inevitable and invariably out of our hands. The masters of this world are indeed cruel, but is this sufficient reason to be depressed and lose heart? Are we to roll over and cry “whoa is us” and give up? Why has the “church” (in general) bought into the same lie to the extent that most – right alongside the rest of the world - cannot cope without mind altering chemicals to do so? They have no more hope than anyone else. Verbally most Christians would express hope, but the life tells the tale. Is this not cause for concern among those who profess the Name of God? Why don’t the people of God have hope? Maybe they don’t know any better than anyone else. Maybe they have a wrong perception of hope, maybe they have bought into the wrong story. Perhaps I am just naïve to the medical condition that plagues the masses, but I refuse to give up hope. Whether rich or poor, great or small, if an individual has no hope they will have little to no happiness, because there is precious little for which to live.
There is a righteous King that will sit on a throne and rule with God’s justice. Wrong will be made right, but until then, those who fear God and bear the name of the Mighty One must show that there is hope on the horizon. If we walk around defeated and dwell on the Bad and the Ugly, do we bear testimony that there is in fact Good and that we live in it? If we, as Children of Light are not able to be over-comers in the increasing Shadow of Darkness, how well are we bearing the Name of the Great King of Hope? Live in that Hope of Glory and show the people around you how to be truly set free!