This weeks post is a departure of sorts from our unexpected journey; although it really has been at the center of it. When you understand that this life of ours is about preparation for eternity, it causes you to think differently about life. Mary’s Hope is something that touches on that preparation for eternity. For those who embrace it, it will certainly be a glorious reunion. However there is a deeper element of preparation for eternity that I would like to touch on. The things that were so extremely important to me when I left high school and headed for college, or the things that were urgent once I left college, even the life changing things that I thought had to happen while I was in the traditional church, have fallen into a forgotten sea. Today whenever I run across people who are chasing after them, a sense of sadness comes over me—not for me, but for them. I believe it was the preacher of the Old Testament book Ecclesiastes who called it vanity—a vapor that appears for an instant only to vanish as quickly as it appeared. Please do not misinterpret what I am saying as hopelessness. It is quite the contrary. There is more hope in my life today than at any time in the existence of my life. The only difference is the fact that my hope is something unseen, unnoticed by the masses. In one sense it is difficult to put into words for they will sound condescending, but they are not. The possession of “things” whatever they may be and for whatever reason they maybe important seem so childish. Again, not to be misinterpreted, I am not talking about some vow of poverty or becoming some martyr. I am simply talking about a much deeper hope, one that sees far beyond the few years we have on planet earth. I am talking about a hope that looks down the corridors of time to see us in a place that will last forever—and strumming on harps while floating on clouds signing kum ba yah is not what I mean! Nor am I talking about a place where all we have to do is worship Jesus forever—as awesome as worshipping the godhead in person will be. I am talking about a place that is right now being prepared for us to spend forever and ever and ever in, doing—well doing what only God has imagined! Understand that there is a part of eternity that requires no preparation at all and therefore needs no hope. You simply live with the pain and the anguish and the eternal regret that you did not choose to follow the only begotten son Jesus. Imagine the worst pain you have ever felt, and then realize that you can never die to get away from that pain. Imagine the regret and anguish you would suffer over and over and over never to have it resolved. You would then add to that the endless times you ask yourself “why” you made the choices you did and not the one choice that matters for all eternity! That my friend is hopelessness.