Saturday, April 11, 2009

A Day of Unspeakable Hope

I occasionally allow myself (nay, force myself) to watch one of the 24 hour news channels. According to the latest: we are all going to die of starvation because of the economy, NO, wait, we are all going to die of earthquakes, no, wait, we are all going to die from a tornado, no, wait, it will be a nuclear missile from North Korea (a terrorist, a former Soviet republic . . .). No wait global warming, an alien invasion, tainted peanut butter, the octomom will kill us all . . . no wait. . .

And then come the solutions. Put your trust in this political party the other guys are idiots. No, sorry, wrong group, put your trust in this political party we were wrong about who the idiots were. No, oops, wrong again, put your trust in this man -- he'll see us through. Put your trust in the TV religion sellers; this self help craze; that new product. Or, just say to Hell with it all and drink our beer, or booze, take this drug . . . or . . .

To the fear mongers I have this to say: we are all going to die. The mortality ratio of the Human Race is still 1:1. Whether it is by missile, tornado, cancer, or I get hit by a bus tomorrow, the end is still the same. This physical life will end. The question is not whether or not I might die or how. The important question is have I actually lived when it came. Did I find the reason for my being? Did I live a life worth living.

To the solution people I would add: the trouble with human solutions is that they have humans running them. We are all flawed broken creatures. I can love my fellow humans, I can learn to trust many of them . . . none of them can be the source of my hope and certainly not some political program.

So what do I do. I need hope. Someone once said you can survive three weeks without food, three days without water, three minutes without air . . . but none of us will live three seconds without hope. Hope is what gets us up and gets us moving. Hope helps us to keep trying!

Which brings us to the odd center of Christianity. I have long suspected that in order to be true it has to be a little odd, so this doesn't bother me. The odd center of Christianity is the journey from the brutal execution of an itinerant Rabbi named Jesus of Nazareth to whispered and then shouted rumors that he has come back to life. Could it be possible that someone has defeated death? Could it be possible that the deaths I have experienced could be resurrected? Could it be possible (hope against hope) that what he said about himself and his life was actually true and that following him and serving others is where life's true meaning will be found?

When I get to Easter (every year it seems) something happens in my heart. The despair of the world around me -- seeking life in the transient things of of money, sex and power -- falls away and I realize that there IS someone in the universe worth being the focus of my life. When I get to Easter and the church is shouting its core creed (Christ is Risen! Indeed!) My heart tells me . . .and so am I. Risen, filled with hope and ready to begin again to live the life to which I am called.

Have a blessed Easter, everyone.
Dr. B J

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