calendar August 5, 2021 in Communications

Perspective: The Long Now

Elise Seyfried, director of spiritual formation at Christ’s, Oreland, writes in Living Lutheran:
He brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” —Genesis 15:5
I remember first reading the verse above, then going outside to look at the starry night sky. I imagined the Lord’s conversation with Abram under that very same sky, and God’s promise that Abram’s descendants would be too numerous to count.
In the thousands of years since, those descendants have indeed numbered in the billions, including me. But then I look ahead, to Abram’s descendants still to come. I realize that I too am their ancestor, and that realization fills me with sadness. What am I leaving for my children’s children? A planet awash in pollution and battered by climate change, nations raging against nations and within themselves? Even as a person of faith, I sometimes wonder if there’s reason to be hopeful about the future.
But after learning about the 10,000 Year Clock and speaking with a prominent Lutheran theologian, I anticipate the future with optimism.