Gabriel's Horn, Pastor George Weaver, July, 2016

posted Jun 28, 2016, 10:46 AM by Lois Kerchner   [ updated Jun 28, 2016, 10:46 AM ]

Believing In the Future

 There was a bishop living in Ohio and Indiana some 150 years ago, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, whose duties included responsibility for a small denominational college. Annually, he would visit the school and spend some time in the home of the college president. This particular bishop had some very conservative leanings and took a rather dim view of the future. He actually told the school president during one of his yearly visits that everything that could be invented had already been invented.

 The administrator disagreed wholeheartedly. "In 50 years," he contested, "people will learn to fly like birds." That kind of talk greatly disturbed the bishop. "Flight is reserved for birds and angels," he said emphatically, "and you, sir, are guilty of blasphemy!"

The name of the bishop was Milton Wright. While the name of this particular bishop may not immediately ring a bell for you, something else definitely will. You see, back at home, this clergyman had two enthusiastic sons - Orville and Wilbur- who didn't exactly go along with the thinking of their father. It is well documented, of course, and widely recognized how Bishop Wright's sons came to be widely acclaimed as leading pioneers in the history of modern aviation.

Former U.S. Senator from Minnesota, Hubert H. Humphrey, who was vice-president under Lyndon B. Johnson, headed the Democratic presidential ticket in 1968. Hubert Humphrey was a bit more positive and forward looking than Bishop Wright. One time in referring to the the "good old days," Humphrey stated, "They were never that good, believe me. The good new days are today, and better days are coming tomorrow. Our greatest songs are still unsung."

None of us knows the future with any certainty. Who could have predicted the mass killing in that nightclub in Orlando recently? Those people did not go there expecting to die. While there is admittedly plenty of sad stuff that happens, I prefer to focus on the hopeful nature of life.

 There is a song that says, “Many things about tomorrow I don't seem to understand, but I know who holds tomorrow and I know who holds my hand. The 2nd stanza of this song goes as follows:

Ev'ry step is getting brighter

As the golden stairs I climb

Ev'ry burden's getting lighter

Ev'ry cloud is silver lined

There the sun is always shining

There no tear will dim the eye

At the ending of the rainbow

Where the mountains touch the sky.

We have an important choice about how to look at life as we face the future. As the old cliché puts it, "We can see the glass as either half empty or half full.” Rather than always taking a dim viewpoint, I recommend the outlook of Hubert Humphrey who was convinced that, “Better days are coming tomorrow. Our greatest songs are still unsung." What positive notes will you be singing that are yet to be sung?

 

George Weaver, Pastor of Maturing Ministries
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