What happened to hope?

The paradox of our time is that we spend more but have less, buy more but enjoy it less, have more medicine but less wellness; we have multiplied our possessions but reduced our values, learned how to make a living but not a life. We have cleaned up the air but polluted our souls.
And many of us are just plain bitter that life is not fair.
There seems to be a lopsidedness and randomness to the distribution of life’s windfalls and pitfalls. One family wins the lottery and another has a child who dies. Some seem blessed and others cursed and it seems the wrong people often suffer.
Yet the main danger in this world of inequality seems to be the bitterness itself. It is bitterness that fuels terrorists; bitterness that leads to intolerance and social inertia; bitterness that destroys dreams and brings on early death.
What happened to hope?
The philosopher Elton Trueblood wondered whether the terrible truth of modern times was that it was a cut-flower civilisation.
Trueblood said cut flowers might be beautiful, but they eventually died because they were severed from their sustaining roots.
We are trying to maintain the dignity of the individual apart from the deep faith that every man is made in God’s image and is therefore precious in God’s eyes, he said.
It does not help that religion is a mixed bag. Religion may support the civil-rights marches, challenge inequality and comfort the persecuted, but many people continue to judge religion by the antics of abusive priests, sinning evangelists and church organisations that seem more concerned with property than piety.
Sadly, true spirituality — the one with answers — is often judged less on its substance than by its fallen advocates, and is therefore ignored.

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9 thoughts on “What happened to hope?

  1. Very true words, Bryan. I often think that the worst of the sins is greed: it accounts for most of the wars,big and small. And from greed comes the bitterness you speak so eloquently of. It also breeds anger, contempt and hate. I see so many people driving around, looking furious, for example. They shake their fists at other drivers, they lose patience in a split-second. Greed in all its nasty guises really is the root of all evil. I’m trying to write a parable at the moment about an angry man who is furious because his neighbour has a bigger SUV than him, and another neighbour is moving to a bigger house in a bigger suburb. You’re right: bitterness renders a person unable to hope.

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    • You’re right Caron. Greed is the big evil. I’m always saddened by those polls that show westerners, no matter what they earn, believe they need even more to live well. What’s that quote from Gandhi? There are enough resources for the world’s need but not the world’s greed.

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    • Caron, Bryan,

      Greed the big evil? It’s a long time since I last read Scott Peck, but I seem to recall that he called Laziness the bigt evil. Remember at the time it impressed me rather.
      Rian.

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      • Yes, laziness is a big one, you’re right. It facilitates greed, because lazy people can’t be bothered doing anything about, say, leaders hungry for power and big business owners exploiting people because they’re greedy for money.

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  2. I personally know folk who deny themselves nothing their eyes desire and even though it looks very much like greed to me and an overinflated sense of entitement, I honestly think that it stems from a sickness of the soul. There’s an emptiness inside of us, a deep hunger that no matter how much we try and satisfy we just can’t feel satiated, because it is spirit…..our spirits are sick! Only God can fill that void. Only He can give us what we need.

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    • Do you ever feel as though you are looking for something but you’re not just sure what it is? There’s an emptiness you’re trying to fill—right? You’re trying things but they just don’t seem to be working? Some think it is something they can buy, some think it is something they can achieve, some think it is something they can experience.

      Augustine, an early Church father, once said, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.” That quote is as accurate today as the day he wrote it.

      All our hungers are simply hungers that point to the deepest hunger in our lives. We can never be content with what cannot satisfy us. The deepest hunger of our life which expresses itself in other hungers can be met only by God.

      Discover The Word Org.

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  3. Pingback: “Peace is Possible” | The Crayon Files

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