So second winter seems to have passed and allowed spring to arrive. The rains have let up and allowed practice fields to dry. And the evenings have lightened up, allowing me to finally think clear enough to write up a post. So let’s go back to the 80s.
Somehow the weird Safety Dance song has made it’s way into our family, popping up on occasion. While I was out last week, I actually heard it on the radio, which sparked a throw-back party-of-one in my hotel room (I was in Columbus one night), revisiting some of the 80s songs I once loved. I hadn’t seen the videos for some, and one was particularly horrifying to view: You Spin Me Round (Like a Record) by Dead or Alive. I watched it with dismay. When my kids picked up the 80s-love this week (poor Alexa), I showed them the video just to let them know why we let the 80s die.
A more evocative song that came up was by Genesis, called Land of Confusion. It’s been stuck in my head off and on since this nostalgia-fueled spree began. Of course, now that I’m not a single-digit-age kid, I’m listening to the song with new ears.
I won’t be coming home tonight
My generation will put it right
We’re not just making promises
That we know we’ll never keep.
We’re a long way from 1986, and a newer generations would argue that the promises were never kept. Yet I’d also expect that many would be quite happy to claim the lyrics as a protest song today even as it was then. It seems that the video quality, instrumentation and imagery may change (Disturbed did a cover of the song using cartoons), but the heart and message remains. Oddly enough, our proclamations of “we can do love better” are usually with a silent “better than you,” carrying a less-unifying mentality than we like to imagine.
I’ve learned an important truth as I’ve travelled around. People have different architecture, languages and foods, but one things is universal: they are all people, living each day trying to fulfill their hope. I have an easier time overcoming the dissimilarities and outright differences when I know their heart as well as their broken nature is like mine, especially since I know how hope is fulfilled.
Where I’m coming from…
Hope is a generic term. Presidents campaign with it. Movies use it as a feel-good theme. Yet it’s an entirely different thing for the one who follows Jesus. Hope and dream are quite separate rather than being interchangeable or even related. Hope and expectation would be a better suited pair, though with more certainty. We have a hope for the future because of Jesus. That’s why it was written “Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). Faith, reality, hope, proof… Not words that are usually tossed in together. The point that follows via example after example in that passage is the expectation met in the faith of various people. Those who held a great and certain hope that the reader recognizes as worthwhile or fulfilled.
So another writer referred to God as the “God of hope” that “fills you with all joy and peace” (Romans 15:13). A pipe dream doesn’t lead to joy and peace; such results are the work of fulfilled hope, expectations being realized. I’m not yet perfect, but I’m seeing the work of perfection which will one day be realized in the presence of God.