Believing in Hope: What if the World is Going to Get Better?

Like many of you, believing in hope is a difficult task these days.

Let’s entertain the thought for a moment that the world is going to pull through this current nightmare and actually get better. We are stuck right now between the old vs. new, right vs. wrong, good vs. evil, and whether to trust in a beautiful plan or not. Are we going to choose progress or regress? Will we see the light waiting for us ahead and dispel human tendencies to gravitate toward fear, doom, and gloom?

Like many of you, I was pointed toward this doom and gloom as a child with being taught rapture doctrine. I was taught the earth was going to get worse and worse leading to ultimate destruction. I craved world problems and disasters because I was taught that these things were birth pangs bringing us closer and closer to the rapture,  when true believers would disappear from the face of the earth leaving all others behind to suffer the wrath of God.

Later in my life, I began seriously studying rapture theory and found it’s origins to be suspicious and also began to see scripture in a different light. I will never forget that moment sitting in the afternoon sun on my deck and it occurred to me:

What if the world was actually going to get better?

What if the rapture is a spiritual awakening and departure, rather than a physical one? What if being  “Caught up”  in the clouds/mist actually means enlightenment? All of these questions swirled around my head and I was transformed by this new promise. The pieces slowly began coming together. The good news that Jesus spoke over and over was that the kingdom is near, and it is at hand. I truly believe that what he was trying to tell us is that this utopia we dream of is within our midst and we need to focus on ushering it in, celebrating it now, and telling others about it.

The past year we have allowed ourselves to disbelieve. It has been depressing, mind blowing, and soul crushing watching others support this president. People of our faith communities and family of origin have broken our hearts with their vote and continued allegiance. Donald Trump seems to be King. They’ve given him a pass on racism, sexual assault, sexual immorality, greed, trying to take healthcare away, the list goes on and on. I could fill 1000 pages with disgusting things Trump has gotten a pass on from people professing to follow Christ. We’ve been so busy and focused on fighting them.

I’m done. I’m leaving them behind. I am choosing to believe in hope. Perhaps this is the spiritual rapture and departure.

Perhaps their soul is content nodding their heads in support of Trump’s recent sympathetic comments to white supremacy.

Let them revel in it.

Perhaps they’re happy following Trump and his blatant disregard for morality, basic humanity, or love.

Let them revel in that too.

Maybe they feel good in their hearts by being racist, bigots, wanting to build walls, turning our backs on refugees, cutting funding for domestic violence victims, and cutting funding for programs helping the poor and sick. Maybe they truly feel warm and bubbly watching Trump’s recent speech to Boy Scouts.

Let them revel in that too.

It has become apparent that his recent remarks regarding the tragedies of Charlottesville has not spurred any conviction. Not one single member of Trump’s spiritual advisory council has resigned, yet we watched CEO’s abandon their respective council. We have a president who has shown by his words and actions this week, that he is a white supremacist, and STILL they can see images of fellow supporters waving nazi flags and “heiling Trump”, and continue to be on that side.

Let them revel in that too.

May we all walk away from trying to get them to wake up. Perhaps they aren’t going to, and that isn’t our problem. The condition of their soul is their problem, not ours.

Our focus is to rise and not let them drag us down. I do not want to sit at their table and am no longer fighting to get a seat. No longer do any of us need to feel pressed down by their opinions as their opinions don’t matter a hill of beans to me anymore. What matters to me is if I can look at myself in the mirror. The longer we try and drag them with us, the longer it will take for progress to win.

So let’s leave them. Let’s leave the task of trying to lift the curtain. We don’t need anyone’s permission to live in the kingdom we seek and long for. We can live in joy. We can live in peace. We can live in action by helping our community thrive.

Am I suggesting we abandon our activism? Absolutely not. However, I am suggesting we abandon the fight to change the other side.

I have no doubt that this is going to change the future of the world. I have no doubt that evil institutions and ideologies are crumbling and will continue to crumble. No longer will my focus be based in fear of everything that is going wrong, but focus on what is going right.

Forget them and look at all the love. Look at the outpouring of support to the transgendered following Trump’s recent military ban. Look at the outpouring of disgust of white supremacy. Look at all the fighters of love, unity, and humanity.

In closing, not only can we entertain the thought of the world getting better, but we can actually believe it and bring it about. Someday ALL eyes will open and this beautiful Kingdom we believe in will be reality.

Let them revel in that too.

 

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