Opportunity CompassOver the last two or three years, I’ve been really sensitive to a growing animosity between people in our country. I think it started after 9/11, when the good will we all felt toward each other after the terrorist attackes gave way to ill-feelings over how the response to what happend was being handled. Opinions aside, good people can disagree without having conversations deteriorate into less-than-civil exchanges. But I digress…

Last fall, sentiments over the direction of our country seemed to take decidedly hard turn with two camps with divergent philosophies emerging. It was a sad time. People argued, TV pundits raged and the ranks on both sides grew. One thing was clear. Folks were putting their hope in people. And that worried me.

So I began to pray. And to wait.

Because one thing I was sure of.

The expectations being placed on the people who lead our country were too great. No one would ever be able to live up to them. It’s just not humanly possible.

And it meant that at some point, at least a portion of the masses would be disappointed.

They were and are looking in the wrong place for hope.

Real hope, true hope, has one origin — Jesus Christ. 1 Timothy 1:1 tells us that He is our hope.

1 Peter 1:3 reveals that we have access to that hope through a relationship with Christ.

There’s going to come a time when the opportunity will present itself to share true hope with people who need it, who want it. Who are hungry and thirsty for it.

And when my opportunity comes, I want to be ready. Ready to tell about the Jesus I know and the true hope that He offers. With whoever needs to hear it.

And until that time comes, I will do everything I can to live hopefully. I want to reflect the hope He promises and so freely gives, and the peace that it produces. I want Jesus and His beauty and His glory to be revealed in my life so others see it. I want my life to draw people to Him.

In the meantime, while I’m deeply concerned about things that are going on in the world around me, I will not fret. When anger rises among people with different ideas, I will not let myself be sucked into the emotion of it all. I will stay prayerful. I will continue to look up and not be cast down by what I see.

I’ll stay watchful and informed but I will not be afraid. Because I have hope.

Because someday, someone’s going to ask me why I feel the way I do. And when that happens, I want to be able to give the right answer.

What about you? Are you living hopefully? Do you have your answer ready for when your opportunity to share comes?