Choosing hope for a greater tomorrow
In recent news, we’ve heard that the Big Ten have postponed their season until 2021. We’ve heard about the explosion in Beirut. We’ve heard about hurricanes out East. We feel the constant stress of making decisions about whether to venture out or stay in. The last few months have brought disappointment and grief in so many ways. So, how do we keep going? What is giving you hope for the future? What are you doing today that helps you thrive tomorrow?
Investing in something that will outlive you is inherently a hopeful act. It’s just the kind of act that we need to pursue in the face of the hopelessness we are experiencing today. Wendell Berry writes in a poem,
“Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.”
With giant sequoia trees living up to 3000 years, the planting of one will outlive your great grandchildren’s great grandchildren’s great grandchildren. That kind of investment says, even if the worst may come, I choose hope for a greater tomorrow.
The prophet Jeremiah chose to invest. Just when Jerusalem was about to be overwhelmed by enemy forces, Jeremiah receives a vision from the Lord with orders to purchase a piece of land from his cousin. Sure, with the pending invasion, property values were at an all-time low. Yet, Jeremiah still chose to invest because the Lord said, “Take these documents, both the sealed and unsealed copies of the deed of purchase, and put them in a clay jar so they will last a long time. For this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Houses, fields and vineyards will again be bought in this land.’” Things looked hopeless, but God promised hopelessness would not have the final say. New life would return.
We are living in some of the most distressing times of our lives. As we struggle to see light at the end of the tunnel, there are still many ways to invest in hope each and every day. Wendell Berry says,
“So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it….
We can still make the choice to live in hope. We can choose to love others, give sacrificially, and practice resurrection. We can choose to create art like the residents who created some beautiful flower arrangements this week. We can choose to invest in a relationship that has been floundering. We can choose to relish in the delight of your next meal. You can choose to turn on a beautiful piece of classical music instead of the nightly news.
There are so many ways you can invest in the future by sowing hope in your life today. It may take some creativity and intentionality, but so does every good investment.
Peace be upon you,
Chaplain Travis Jamieson
 Wendell Berry, Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front.
 For the full story, look up Jeremiah chapter 32.