hope unmountedFor the wise man, like the fool, will not be long remembered; in days to come both will be forgotten. Like the fool, the wise man too must die! Eccl. 2:16

My great grandfather came west in a covered wagon and lived the adventure of developing a raw land. When I was a boy, great granddad’s homestead in the California desert was sold and subdivided. The new owners knocked down the barn and put up apartments. Great granddad is gone—a whole life is as though it never was. I don’t even know his first name.

There are currently more than seven billion people on earth, and at least another fifty billion have come and gone. That’s fifty-seven billion sets of life experience all forgotten or marginally remembered. As soon as the present becomes the past, my efforts and dreams get piled on the heap of decomposing ancestors. I don’t despair, however, because I possess an indestructible treasure that will outlive even the end of time.

I own the hope diamond. Not the one in the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. but the real hope diamond. The one in the museum should be called the Hopeless Diamond. Discovered in India, it was fashioned into the eye of a Hindu idol and, when it was later stolen, a curse supposedly brought grief to everyone who owned it, including the beheaded Marie Antoinette. That hope diamond has a bitter past and a bleak future in the final blaze.

The hope diamond I own is the bright, translucent love of Christ. It sits atop the dark pile of human endeavors and shines indigo rays of beauty. My hope is my one legitimate reason for joy. It is because of my hope, and not some evaporative legacy, that I will live my brief span with abounding optimism. And because of my hope, even my name lives forever in heaven.

Prayer: Resplendent Lord Jesus, your love is my bright reason for living.

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