I met an interesting retiree yesterday who left me thinking about news ways to see hope. The reasons for my optimism may see odd yet it could also be helpful to you as you grabble with the stuff that floats all around you.
The town I spent part of my youth in has radically changed except for its physical size o. During the past three decades the city’s infrastructure has withstood the strain of a population that is now ten times as large. Ten times the number of people asking for power, water, and more than twenty times the amount of vehicles on the streets. As a result, more than anything else, the streets are chaos! Everywhere you look or attempt to drive people are readily breaking the rules. One way streets have little meaning. Traffic circles and rights of ways are a joke. Even accidents take on a sinister tone unless a policeman happens to be nearby as it occurs. Fortunately the latter is not as improbable as it might sound.
The person I met had recently retired and joined a business club in the town where I grew up. He decided that he wanted to make a difference so asked the following two questions.
“What do we really see going on in this city?”
“What can we do that makes a difference and doesn’t cost a lost of money?”
The latter question is the easy part. In asking what we can do we find hope. The challenge comes with the first one! Are we willing to see what is really going on? He looked and he saw traffic out of control, pollution creeping in on all corners, and people losing compassion for each other. Another prophet looked around in his day and recorded the obvious that many could not see. “The fields are sterile. The very ground grieves. The wheat fields are lifeless, vineyards dried up, olive oil gone.” (Joel 1.10)
Now comes the easy part. What can we do to make a difference? In you answer lies hope; for yourself and for others.