A Journey of Hope

A Journey of Hope

I used to live in a duplex, on the other side of which lived John Schellenberg, the principal of Menno Simons Christian School, the school I taught at. The route to the school could be varied, and I tried out different variations in the mornings, trying to decide on which took the least time. One morning, when my car was in for repair, I got a ride from John. As he drove, I attended to his route choices and asked him which way he found to be the best. “The one with the green lights”, he replied. That put the drive in a whole new context for me.

The best route was not static, but rather was dependent on the conditions at the time. If the light was green, continue on that road, if red, turn.  To get to the school the quickest, adjust while driving to take the route that allows for continuous driving without stopping.

I know someone who is a cautious driver, not very confident on the road. For her, the best route is the one with the most right turns, as opposed to left turns. She will go out on her way to avoid turning left. For her, the best route is the safe one, the one where you never have to make a turn against traffic

The way to get to where we are going can vary, according to what our objective is. We can adjust our path according to what will move us best towards our objective. Along our life journeys, we will be striving to choose objectives that are in alignment with God's vision for the world

Recently, my Mom talked to me about her life, about the many places she and my Dad lived and the jobs they took in service of the church as educators, pastors, and chaplain. Mom said she did not regret anywhere they had been. It was not that any of the places and situations were perfect, and it was not that the conditions did not matter. It was that they took the situation they were in and made adjustments along the way for improvement.

I find that it is not always evident whether the chosen way forwards will lead to the desired destination. However, making adjustments along the way to fit as well as possible with a vision of God, is a way to live in hope. If each chosen direction is in keeping with the extent of our understanding at the time of what God has revealed about God's kingdom, what God desires for humanity and all creation, there is reason to hope it will be a good choice.

In hope of inclusiveness, make adjustments towards being inclusive. In hope of peace, make adjustments towards being peaceful. In hope of justice, make adjustments towards sharing power. If we are making adjustments towards living as if in the peaceable kingdom, there is hope of moving in the right direction, even if the steps are small along the way, and the whole of the effect of our decisions is not fully visible to us. If we are making adjustments towards living as if in the peaceable kingdom, we are living in hope and participating in its continued realization on earth.