I get weary of pessimism. We have it everywhere. In our personal lives. In our communities. In our nation. Even in our church. Where is everyone? Why don’t we have kids anymore? The end is near. The church is dying.
There are, no doubt, real answers to those questions, but like many, I do not always want to go there. Sometimes I do not want to own up to them. Sometimes I do not want to believe them. Are there really answers or are they merely perceptions? Where have we set our sights? Our trust? Our hope?
Pessimism is most often a result of a lack of vision.
Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. (Heb. 11:1) Our hopes and our dreams make us who we are –– they excite us …they lift us up … they empower us to be what God has created us to be.
One of my favorite stories is that of Abraham and Sarah “late in life” during their transition of waiting for God to keep his promise and experiencing it: “Abraham had a number of visions, this one was while he was in his late nineties. I can just see this old man waking up one morning, nudging his wife, and with a shaky voice saying, “Sarah? Sarah?”
Sarah, in her late eighties, responded in groggy fashion “What is it, Abe?”
“I just had a vision,” says the old man.
“What kind of vision, Abe?” asks Sarah.
“I just had a vision of a new world! A new humanity! A new People! Sarah, you and I are going to create a whole new epoch in human history!”
“How does this new humanity start?” asks Sarah.
“Glad you asked,” smirks Abraham.
The next scene, a year later. The now 100 year old Abraham, probably limping along with a walker holding him up, alongside his now 90 year old pregnant wife. (God does have a sense of humor.)
“Where are you going, Abe?” the people ask.
“I don’t know,” the old man answers.
“Well then, why are you leaving?” they yelled back at him.
“BECAUSE GOD HAS GIVEN ME A VISION!” shouts Abraham. (from ”Things Hoped For” by Tony Campolo)
Have vision. Have a vision! Have God’s vision? Look up and see where God is leading. Look up and find out what God is doing. “I lift up my eyes to the hills … the Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time on and forevermore.” (Ps. 121:1, 8)
In God’s Hands,