Joel Hirst is a writer more people need to know about. First, an excerpt from his Our Summer of ’20
This was the summer of my little boy. He’s just of the right age, old enough to be clever and fun and creative but not too old that I am yet annoying – that he would rather ‘hang’ with his friends. Ours was a summer without distractions – there was no Disney, no trips to Dubai or Sharm to swim with the dolphins. No camps of any kind; few friends – for all are nervous this year and our already-scripted playtimes are ever-so-much-more-so in times of COVID.
So we filled our summer with each other. Hiking the storied Caucasian mountains; throwing rocks in lakes; looking for frogs in ponds; making dams in cold mountain streams; traipsing through ancient castles and meandering upon the ancient silk road and up into monasteries full of the reminders of days gone by which also experienced monumental events, and still the stones reverberate with the tales. Our summer of soccer, and Lego castles – of water fights and home-made pizza. Lord of the Rings (the books, and then the movie – as a reward, the old cartoons telling the story as it should be told). Star Wars, the trilogy – the real trilogy, not whatever Disney is up to these days. Reading books at night, and devotions before bed as we explore the greatness of God in a world that has decided He is too much of an inconvenience to be considered. Until a pandemic wipes away our hubris – and people remember that there are no utopias absent the preserving power of God upon the soul.
And an excerpt from Hirst’s Our Changing World
Our global economic model is based upon the principle of growth… what happens when populations shrink? When they age and downsize? When they no longer make large purchases but prefer simple time spent with family as they realize that they – too – are mortal and begin to count the cost of what really matters?
And the scary exception to this trend? Africa. Africa, which has never made it; Africa, whose population will go from one billion to four in that same period. Nigeria (where I spent almost four years) goes to a billion – it will have a greater workforce than China in my son’s life. As it is, the carrying capacity of that desiccated land caused one famine – in 2016. Imagine the next famine? Imagine the wars, if as it is those cleptocratic governments steal everything not bolted to the crumbling cement floors of their offices devoid of any maintenance product of collective national pride?
Yes, the world of the future belongs to USA on one end, and Nigeria on the other, with “Sichuan home for elderly men (remember the one-child policy and the corresponding 100,000,000 extra dudes?)“ somewhere in between, where nobody wants to go even if they were allowed. A massive wall surrounding Elysium outside of which the wars rage.