I saw an ad this past week for the Door County Reads Festival. The featured author this year is Michael Perry, a New York Times bestselling author, playwright and radio show host from New Auburn, Wisconsin. If you’re thinking, “I’ve never heard of New Auburn,” that’s probably because the title of Perry’s memoir of the place where he grew up is called Population 485.
While his bio is fascinating enough, what really caught my attention was something he said. Perry wrote, “To wallow in cynicism, and to dismiss things like hope and faith, is cowardly and unoriginal.” Isn’t that quite the statement? I would love to be able have a conversation and ask how he came to that conclusion.
It’s difficult to keep up hope at times. It can feel like the world beats us down at every turn. We question why things have to be so difficult, why there has to be so much suffering. Hope doesn’t deny current realities. It keeps the door open for change in both the present and the future. Likewise, our Jesus doesn’t deny the current reality that we live in a broken world. But we can still always hope because Jesus said for this crazy world, He left us His peace. (John 14:27) And one day, Jesus will return and set all things right. (2 Peter 3:13)
Usually when we hope for change, it’s for our circumstances. But sometimes the change we need is in our own perspective. How do we view what is happening to us personally or the world in general? Do we read, watch or participate in activities that foster hope or things that discourage it?
I’m not saying that a change in perspective is an “quick fix” for anything difficult. When we face difficult things in life, it is a process to make our way through. But we should realize that our perspective affects how we see, think and act. So maybe ask yourself a tough question this week. Am I acting like a cowardly cynic, or a like brave person who believes in hope and faith? If you don’t like the answer, I suggest a change in perspective! Because remember, when you trust Jesus, you always have a reason to hope!
With Hope & Love,