Yesterday, I read where theoretical physicist, Stephen Hawking, is suggesting that we, humanity, should abandon earth. This was said in an article titled "Abandon Earth-or Face Extinction." In a nutshell, or the Revised Standard Version of Joe. Hawking is saying that humanity's future is in space and not on earth. He talks about how we have damaged the earth and are looking danger in the face on our planet. He cites the Cuban Missile Crisis as one of the near misses where the end result would have been extinction. Hawking also talks about our ever increasing demand on limited resources. Ok, I think you get the point. We have jacked the planet all up, possibly irreparably, and the only way out Hawking sees is to expand to space before the planet is inhabitable and we (humanity) can get off the planet.
So I tell my wife about this, just because I find it interesting, and since then, I have thoroughly been thinking about two statements she said. First, she mentioned that Hawking is not a social worker, and how the population would not be able to expand off of the earth except for the 5-10% of the wealthiest who could afford the cost of space travel. Suddenly, one tier of the socio-economic structure would disappear and then the entire economy would truly collapse. It's the second statement, however, that really had me thinking. She said, "I think the Christian community would disagree because in the face of no-hope, there is hope." I think she's right.
Hope is one of the central tenets to our faith. Hope that tomorrow will bring something different, something greater. Hope in an everlasting God. God, who can provide a miraculous intervention and change the complete course of today, tomorrow, this month, or eternity. Oftentimes this hope is not rooted in anything rational, and all "scientific proof" counters that one mustard seed of hope that we hold onto, but hope is not fruitless. Hope provides a stimulus to change what we can, gives us endurance not to give up to see things through, and most of all provides inspiration. In the end, what we have hoped for, might not have come to fruition, but we may never know what our undying hope may have birthed in us or in someone else.
"For the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear Him, in those who hope in his steadfast love." Psalms 147:11 (NRSV)
"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1 (NRSV)
"And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love." 1 Corinthians 13:13 (NRSV)