The Conspiracy Of Hope

denver.post.kennedy.assassination.croppedI fell down the rabbit hole. Like many others this week, I became fascinated by the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination.

The JFK killing appears to be a once in a lifetime time type event – one that only could have happened at a certain point in history where there was not enough media saturation to find out the truth but just enough media saturation to create the controversy and conspiracies which continue on some 50 years and counting down the road.

One podcast I listened to featured one of my favorite authors Chuck Klosterman giving his analysis on the conspiracy theories. Klosterman made an interesting point on conspiracies in general.

Klosterman hypothesized that conspiracies are often more comforting to believe than the more probable truth. He said believing that a few people somehow orchestrated a catastrophic event is more comforting than believing all things happen by chance. If we simply believe all the events of life are random and by chance, that can be even scarier than thinking a secret society or some evil mastermind acted outside of normalcy.

I think Klosterman is spot on. In fact, I’ll take his theory one step further. I think conspiracies can be more comforting than believing God is actually in control. 

Thinking there is something conspiring against us is a lot easier to comprehend than believing God is actually in control of the outrageous, painful things He lets happen as part of His plan.

So instead of trusting in God’s ways, we worry and conspire alternate routes on a path to comfort and understanding. We doubt God could possibly be in control of everything. We doubt the notion every moment – big and little, good and bad – is working toward a greater good.

It’s why for the better part of 2 years I’ve been worrying about my job. Although I loved working as a Student Minister, I knew the job could not last forever. I was not (and still am not) sure what my next job would be, so I spent many days worrying about the next step.

Just the other day I was thinking about the great next, perfect, imaginary job. I thought, “If I could just secure my next full-time job, God, then I wouldn’t have to worry anymore.”

That’s when I understood something God’s been trying to tell me for years –  I don’t have to worry. Worrying is a choice. 

Finding the “perfect” job won’t fix my doubts. It will just create new ones. The only way to ease my worries is to cease worrying in the first place, trusting God is already taking care of me.

Choosing to worry about my life means choosing to doubt God’s providence. When I worry, I say to God “I’m not so sure You know what You’re doing. Let me handle this.” When I worry, I come up with theories and alternate plans to make sense of my situation.

God never intended for us to spend our hours searching for solutions. Instead, He offers peace in the midst of our problems. As Christians we are asked to believe in a conspiracy of hope, trusting in a gracious God who really does care for His creation in every instance.

If you think the JFK rabbit hole is intriguing, imagine the conspiracy theories which were flying when Jesus was killed and resurrected. Some of those conspiracy theories which began thousands of years ago are still with us today.

Skeptics and disciples alike were in agreement God was not in control. But in actuality God was winning His greatest battle. The conspiracies piled up to explain the improbable events of those days. After all, who could possibly believe in a God would would die for creation and who could offer a resurrected salvation?

It takes a lot of faith to doubt a conspiracy. It takes a lot of faith to oppress worrying as well. Believe today in the conspiracy of hope Jesus offered beginning with the resurrection – the theory that just maybe all the pain and confusion in your life is actually a reason to praise. Believe you can choose to stop worrying and doubting and start trusting God in this moment. Believe in a God greater than any conspiracy you can concoct.

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