Thoughts on the NFL Draft, Baltimore, and Nepal
Today’s Verse: Romans 8:28
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[i]have been called according to his purpose.
Last night I waited with much of the Delaware Valley until the final seconds of the second pick of the 2015 NFL draft hoping for a miracle. We wanted Marcus Mariotta, but it did not happen. The Philadelphia Eagles were not able to draft him. The plans that many had did not come to fruition. What next?
People in Nepal are reporting that over 5,000 schools have been destroyed in the recent earthquake. The number is overwhelming. In addition to trying to recover from the tragic loss of life, the people of Nepal now are burdened with trying to make a future for their children. What next?
The state attorney for the city of Baltimore is now looking at the report complied on the death of Freddie Gray. A sit anxiously awaits the answers. Protests are continuing to happen as people respond to the events of the past week. All eyes remain on Baltimore. What next?
In every piece of our lives we are aware that things do not always go like we hope or plan. Plans are changed or altered or destroyed. It can happen because of our own choices, the actions of others, or nature itself. The question we struggle with is the same though…what next?
We can throw our hands to the heavens and scream, “why?”. We can spend our time blaming others and make no progress. We can dwell on the past and how things could have been if OUR plans had just been followed or come through. We can simply shut down and isolate ourselves. We can react with anger or we can react with hope.
What does hope look like?
In many ways it looks like the scripture reading for today. It is understanding that in the midst and in the pain and in the trouble, God is working to make things good. It may not be apparent right away and it may not seem possible right away but it is true. When God is working and we are instruments of God, good will happen.
For some things it is easy. The NFL draft is interesting and fun but it is just a moment. You move on and enjoy the show. Some parts of our life are like that. We get caught up and worked up about things that ultimately are not that important. We invest our energy and spirit in things that are not of eternal worth.
Then we have situations like in Nepal, devastating pain, destruction, and death. Way too much for one person to impact on their own. So we come together. We pray. We raise money. We help find solutions. We send help. We walk with a nation and a people as they rebuild. Hope is alive.
There are also other situations that pop up like Baltimore. Baltimore is so close and yet so far away. Our heart cries out for the people. We listen to the wails of people who have felt abandoned and ignored and we stand with them. We honor, respect, and stand with those who are doing what they can to protect the citizens. We wonder where is the hope?
Our hope is always present. We know that Jesus is present even in the chaos and the noise. We know that even in the midst of pain and suffering. What good can God make from this? Only God knows. Yet, I think we see the glimmers. We see people really starting to understand what happens when people lose their voice. We see what happens when a system turns its back.
We see the hope in the people standing between police officers and potential trouble and saying, “not in my city”. This is the beginning of good things. It is going to take some time and some intentionality and woe to us if we go back to how things used to be.
Keep praying. Keep hoping. Good is coming.
Now about that Marcus Mariotta thing.