Proof God exists? Hope, impossible hope!

“And what do you wish for in the New Year, Jones?” “Well, sir,” Jones replied, “I’d like some hope.”

“Hope?” his boss asked, looking shocked, “I can’t offer that sort of thing, Jones. Hope isn’t what we offer any of our employees in this business. We do our work, get paid, run out of steam after forty years and retire. There’s no hope in any of it, Jones, just a steady treading of water until you can’t tread water any longer.”

“Yes, I’m aware of that, sir,” Jones replied, “but you’ve been here for years, so what keeps you going? To me it all seems so pointless.”

“You’re quite right, Jones, it is pointless. Utterly futile, actually. So I asked myself some time back why, if I was God, I’d make most people’s lives so tedious they’re counting the days to retirement. Forty of the most productive years of your life and you can’t wait for it to be over for something better. Doesn’t make sense, does it? So why bother working at all, I wondered, especially when most of what we produce in this company is a criminal waste of the Earth’s resources, and we’re not contributing anything of lasting value to anyone?”

“And did you find an answer?” Jones asked.

“Well I can’t help wondering why – when I know what I’m doing here has no future whatsoever – I’m able to function quite normally. Despite the uselessness of it all, and despite knowing that this year isn’t going to be any better than the last one, I can still go out for coffee with friends and we talk as if everything is fine. It’s an amazing phenomenon. But you experience it too, right? We all have this amazing capacity for hope, even in the worst situations, that keeps us clinging onto life even when we know it’s hopeless.”

“So I asked myself why, if I was God, I’d do this for people. Why give us hope in a hopeless world? But what better proof could God give us of his existence than providing us with something impossible? Hope in our world? Don’t be daft; who in his right mind has hope in a world like this? We live and die and we’re soon forgotten, end of story. But we have hope to keep us going anyway.”

“So that’s my answer, Jones. I keep going because of a hope I cannot explain I have, outside of God giving it to me. And it somehow keeps me going in this ridiculous world for another pointless year. So don’t come asking me for hope, Jones; it’s a miracle you’ve already got.”

(Based on Romans 8:20-25)

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