The world is not as it should be. There is hurt, despair and brokenness. There is violence against women and children, civil wars around the world, cancer, famine, global warming and those are just a few of the popular ills of the world. What are we as followers of Jesus to do? Should we bury our heads in the sand and look for redemption in the “other life?” Many Christians, including myself, would contend the answer to that question is an emphatic NO! Though, even if we answer with a no, the weight of the burden can sometimes drown us in a sea of despair. Active Hope is for those of us who dream of a different world, a world with less chaos and despair and more hope. It’s for those of us who work towards a solution to the problems of this world.
In the third section of Active Hope, the authors suggest strategies that help the dreamer cope when challenges come that threaten to derail our intentions and efforts. At the end of chapter 7, they ask a series of questions to help individuals discern their goals and resources to achieve them. I’m going to answer each of his six questions.
1.) If you knew you could not fail, what would you most want to do for the healing of our world? I worry about the Earth that I’m leaving my kids. Will Glacier National Park exist? What animals will become extinct? What parts of creation will be so polluted my kids won’t be able to visit? I would love to do something that helps heals creation, and that helps people connect to it.
2.) What specific goal or project could you realistically aim to achieve in the next 12 months that would contribute to this? There’s an area to the north of us called the Buffalo National River.
It’s one of the most pristine national rivers in the United States. It has bluffs, fish, trees, slow moving waters and hog farms that are polluting the water. I’d love to help ensure that the hog farms aren’t killing the ecosystem of this national treasure.
3.) What resources, inner and outer, do you have that will help you do this? I have friends who are involved with protecting the Buffalo. They would gladly welcome help in the fight. I also have a desire to be involved.
4.) What resources inner and external will you need to acquire? I don’t know tons about the debate right now. I would need a study group or something to help me catch me up on the conversation.
5.) How might you stop yourself? What obstacles might you throw in the way? I can get think of lot’s of obstacles that will get in my way, and they’re not exotic ones. They’re just the typical day-to-day stuff that consumes all my time (things that I’m grateful for though) like kids, school, church, adoption and now trying to sell my house.
6.) How will you overcome these obstacles? I could involve my kids and family in the conversation. This could become one outlet for family time!
While these questions aren’t groundbreaking, they did prove insightful for me. They started at the 50,000ft level and moved towards the 10ft level. For me, I think the hardest part about pressing on towards a goal is just the humdrum of every day life (kids, school, work). I need to find a way to incorporate what I’m passionate about into my everyday life and not see it as something different.
So, how would you answer those questions?