My wife and I were riding in the car on New Year’s Day and as we drove we were listening to National Public Radio. We like to mix up the content of what we listen to and NPR has interesting programs.
In any case the program we were listening to was about a new CD of Woody Guthrie’s music put out by Nora Guthrie (Woody Guthrie’s daughter). The title of the CD is, A Note Of Hope. Nora Guthrie said something that stuck in my head, she said, Without hope we [man] would be dung, at the bottom of the evolutionary ladder. Or something pretty close to that.
What struck me was the contrast between Hope and Evolution in my own mind. You see I don’t believe in evolution. I know I’m a troglodyte, ignorant and uneducated, but I just have too many problems with the science and the theory. That is, however, fodder for other posts. The idea for this post is where Hope comes from, what is it based on?
I think about reason and the why of human existence. I believe there is a why beyond the accident of natural selection. I understand that some very intelligent people are satisfied that the answer to the meaning of life is that there isn’t one. I am not one of these. I think that Hope is one of those things (like love) that we need to survive and that Hope (like love) is a real thing, not a fantasy or the by product of our physiology.
Think about it, if Hope is only there because we need hope then it isn’t really hope is it?
And we do need Hope. Even when we won’t admit it for fear that our Hope will be crushed, we still nurture Hope inside, clinging irrationally to the life raft of possibility. Why is this? Because natural selection has caused us to evolve with a penchant for Hope so that we can survive through difficulties of famine, fire and flood? If you are honest you must conclude an evolutionary Hope is false even if the reasoning is logical.
So I believe there is a living God who created me and loves me, and that belief is the foundation of my Hope. My Hope is based on something, it is real.
Of course the doubter may say my Hope is no less fantasy than Hope defined by evolutionary biology. There is a significant difference however. My Hope is possible, the definition of Hope. The hope of the evolutionary biologist is stillborn, it can never be true Hope.
And that is another reason why I am still a Christian after all these years.