Recently my family got to visit the Tonto National Monument here in Arizona. We had been camping at the base of the mountains, on Lake Roosevelt and decided since we were only a mile away from the national park that we’d drive over to check it out. Amazingly, this “monument” turned out to be ruins left by Native Americans who first settled the area.
The hike to the ruins was pretty steep, but paved the whole way. So, the younger kids had no problem traversing the trail. The more ‘mature’ among us quickly realized how out of shape we really are! As we hiked, I found myself wondering why in the world this ancient civilization decided to build their city almost at the top of a very steep mountain. Of course, there are the obvious reasons like safety, but what struck me was that here we were on this paved trail and all they had was rough desert at the time they built their domain.
It taught us a lot about who these people that lived so long ago were. They were obviously not afraid of hard work, given that they had to make that trek over and over again while carrying building materials to build their homes. They must have been quite resourceful, given that all these years later huge portions of the walls they built still stood, and, as my 9 year old son pointed out, they didn’t have very supportive underwear, because they had some garments on display at the museum at the base of the hill and seriously, they did NOT look comfortable!
Knowing these few things about the people who lived so long ago, got me thinking about what future generations might say about us. My hope would be that they’d talk about how much we cared for each other, how much we gave of ourselves for each other, and how much we worked to help heal the hurts of our generation. Unfortunately, if all they have to go on are old news reports then that might not be the impression they’re left with. However, if they happen to dig deeper and find things like Hoops of Hope, and other organizations working to make a difference, then I believe they will get that picture. They’ll see that there was a generation of people who saw hurting, and vowed to help do something about it. They’ll see that kids stood up and decided to think beyond themselves to make a difference. They’ll see adults who’s hearts were so heavy by the hurting they saw that they would volunteer their time and give of their resources to help. Just through Hoops of Hope alone, generations in Africa have been impacted in a hugely positive way!
The reality of it is that this generation IS making a difference. This world we live in has many problems, but it also has many good people who are taking their best shot and making themselves available to be part of the solution. Hopefully, we are leaving a legacy of giving, helping, and loving so that when we are an “ancient civilization”, those looking back at us will see that legacy above all else. That’s my hope and I believe it will be realized, because I look around and see all of you who are living it, giving of yourselves for people you don’t even know. You’re amazing, and it’s awesome to see!