My parents grew up in the depression. I heard my father say more than once, "If you expect the worst, you'll never be disappointed, and perhaps pleasantly surprised." I suspect I inherited some of that attitude.
Star Trek flew in the face of that. It's a story set in the future, where we survived all of the world wars, conquered poverty, unified governments, and made peace. The acquisition of wealth was replaced by a drive for knowledge, truth, and bettering the human condition. Nearly every episode, book, novel, and movie dealt with moral and ethical dilemmas. Just the fact that the human race made it into the 22nd, 23rd, and 24th centuries gave me hope enough, and that things like racism and poverty had been conquered.
This time of the year, at least for UM pastors, is a time where hope is needed. Pastors and churches wonder who their next preacher is going to be, or where their next church is going to be, if they're going to get to keep the pastor they have or get ready for a new one. Will budgets be met? Will audits come out right? All of these and other matters of minutia often have us wondering if we believe that God is really in charge and are we really doing Kingdom work?