I woke up ready for some good news this morning, and found it in unlikely places. First, the Beach Boys have kicked off their 50th anniversary tour. The venerable band will do 56 shows in five months, traveling to the arenas and outdoor amphitheaters of America. They will go to Europe and Asia later in the year. You have to admire their fortitude–if these elderly gentlemen can do a global tour, you and I can do what we need to do today.
Next, I turned to sports news and was reminded that the NFL draft begins tonight. For those of us who follow Baylor football, it will be painful to watch Robert Griffin III compete against our Dallas Cowboys as a member of the hated Washington Redskins. However, our team needs help in so many places that anyone we draft has to be good news. In addition, the NBA ends its strange, lockout-truncated season tonight. Our championship team in Dallas was dismantled to prepare for future players who will return us to glory. The playoffs may be painful, but the future beckons.
Last, I found good economic news this morning. Yesterday I mentioned Apple’s amazing last quarter; today we learn that their success was built in particular on sales in China. I’ve been reading the latest edition of The American Interest magazine. which predicts that America is poised on retake the lead in the world economy. Why? Computers and artificial intelligence are the present and future for manufacturing, sectors in which we hold significant advantages over global competitors. Recent discoveries of shale oil and natural gas could make us the Saudi Arabia of energy markets by 2030. And maturing nations increasingly seek products we produce; Apple is one example.
Alexander Pope was right: “Hope springs eternal in the human breast. Man never Is, but always To be blest.” We all need reasons for optimism. Progress and innovation are built on the belief that future outcomes will reward present sacrifices. As Jonathan Swift observed, “He was a bold man who first ate an oyster.”
However, the source of our hope is critical. We can take the wrong medicine in the sincere faith that it will help us, or travel the wrong road in the sincere belief that it will lead us home. The next lines in Pope’s classic poem locate the best reason for hope: “The soul, uneasy and confin’d from home, Rests and expatiates in a life to come.” As the hymn puts it, “My hope is built on nothing less, Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.”
Paul found true hope in the midst of suffering and persecution: “We do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).
Where are your eyes fixed today?