September 26, 2011
Who do you trust? Interesting question, isn't it? In America, about 50 years ago, it wasn't a question; it was an afternoon game show, hosted by Johnny Carson (pre-Tonight Show). Three married couples; trivia questions to be answered for a cash prize: each round began with a question posed to the husbands: do you want to answer the next question, or do you trust your wife to get it right? Awkward…
These days, it's no game, and there are no cash prizes. Right now, it feels like everyone is losing, and looking for someone to turn the tide and rescue them from the mess we're in.
Today's Wall Street Journal, front page, above the fold headline: “Pivot Point: Investors Lose Faith in Stocks.” Last Friday, gold lost ground. America is in a funk; Europe is worse. Russia's version of democracy is Czar Vladimir (Putin). China – our biggest trading partner – can't be trusted with technology; they have no concept of “intellectual property rights.” Neither do young Americans, who made Napster v.1.0 famous for illegal “free” music downloads. American trust – in bankers or senators, priests or presidents, coaches or consultants – is declining in epic proportions.
Trust precedes hope; hope precedes order; order is essential for life. Why is despair growing while the Dow is plummeting?
What is hope? “Desire, accompanied by expectation of or belief in fulfillment” (Merriam Webster). How crucial is hope? “Man can live about forty days without food, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air, but only for one second without hope,” (unknown).
The last presidential campaign ran on the platform of hope; three years later, trust in the winner of that election has slipped below the 50% level. Is hope in the job description for the Supreme Leader?
Here's what Ken Boa says about the question: “People cannot live without hope. Throughout history, human beings have endured the loss of many things. People have lost their health, their finances, their reputations, their careers, even their loved ones, and yet have endured. The pages of history books are filled with those who suffered pain, rejection, isolation, persecution and abuse; there have been people who faced concentration camps with unbroken spirits and unbowed heads, people who have been devastated by Job-like trials and yet found the strength to go on without cursing God and dying. Humans can survive the loss of almost anything – but not without hope…
“ …it is easy to see that few functions a leader is called upon to perform are more important than that of keeping hope alive. When others are lost in the dark, and seemingly endless, maze of despair, effective leaders drive away the darkness with positive projections for the future of their organization.”
Boa echoes the Apostle Paul as he expresses the role of hope: “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” (Romans 8:18-25)
Trust God. Hope for heaven. Find order in your life, today, because of His provision… or, join the losers around us who have lost their confidence and are running on empty…