At last count, my lovely Bride and I have eight grandchildren. Only one lives nearby. Our dream is to someday retire and become the proverbial snowbirds we keep hearing about. If that ever comes to fruition, we’ll be able to see them with much greater frequency.
At my age, there are days when I just feel like packing it all in and saying, “I don’t need this!” At that point, I’d be just as happy to sell most of my earthly possessions and head for the hinterlands. Unfortunately, there’s this little thing called earning a living. I’m sure you’ve heard of that.
From what I can tell, I’m not alone. Probably many of you fall into this category from time to time—especially you old geezers like myself. We look around at the way people treat each other, and we say to ourselves, “What’s the use?” It’s in those moments we’d trade it all for a one-way ticket to an island in the South Pacific.
Those moments are rather fleeting, however, because we soon crash land to the earthly reality that living in some exotic, faraway place would cost way more than we’ve saved up.
On the other hand, there are moments that seem to make it all worthwhile. Through the wonders of modern technology, we received a text from one of the kids recently. One of the little ones was celebrating a birthday. As usual, we couldn’t be there, so we sent a small gift to let her know we’re still alive and kicking, and that we still love her.
The text contained a video of her saying thanks to Gramma and Grampa. Not only did that make my day, I think it warmed my heart enough to last me for quite some time. Some things make it all worthwhile.
Sometimes, all we need is a little light at the end of the notorious tunnel. We need to know there’s some sort of reward for what we’re doing. I guess we could sum that up in one word—hope. We need hope.
I remember preaching at someone’s funeral years ago. There was another pastor at the service who approached me afterward and said, “You really did a good job portraying the hope.” I’ll never forget his words. We try to do a lot of things at funerals, but relaying our hope is probably paramount among those things.
“We need that hope.”
But that not only holds true for funerals, it applies to life in general. We need that light at the end of the tunnel. We need that hope. That hope is one of the greatest gifts of the Savior himself.
The Apostle Paul liked to speak of, what he called, “the hope of glory.” In Colossians 1:27, he says that Christ in us is the hope of glory. Jesus is the light at the end of the tunnel. In fact, he is the light—period. Without him, we live in darkness.
His promise is the one thing that makes it all worthwhile.
[Dave Zuchelli is a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and currently the pastor of Smith Chapel in Great Falls, VA.]