Hopefully some encouragement and inspiration!
I seem to be in a very strange transition, and I’m beginning to wonder if my parents weren’t right all along. The other day, my wife and I sat down for dinner, and with a baby in the not too distant future, my mind began to wonder about how our family meals will be. How much it will mean to me to have my kids at the dinner table. To watch them grow from meal to meal. To share our day together, what did they do in school and how was my wife’s day. Taking all that in, I started to remember how meals were at my house, and how quickly I tried to finish so I could go back outside and play with my friends or get back to my favorite videogame/book. What I remember most was not really caring about everyone else, but satisfying my stomach and then getting back to what I was doing. The thought crosses my mind about how different things would be if I could go back and change that knowing now what I know. “You’ll understand when you have kids of your own.” Begins to ring in my ears, and I realize that I’m beginning to understand what they meant when they said that. I thought I did, but now I’m not so sure.
We live in interesting times. That’s something we all wish for but never quite understand. Mostly because the word interesting is very vague, it can mean fun and exciting and it can also mean weird or strange. I say that because we live in a day and age where at the click of a button I can instantly communicate with millions if not billions. Go back a few years ago and we would have had to buy time on a local television station or a network in order to accomplish that, go back before that and it was radio. And pretty much any time before that reaching millions with any alacrity (quickness) was unheard of. The women and men who worked tirelessly for woman to gain the right to vote, had to travel all around the country speaking, debating, and hand out pamphlets just to get their voices heard. Before that abolishonists had to do something similar to have their voices heard. They worked for years and years to change the minds of their neighbors and then their countrymen. In order to bring about some of the greatest changes the world has ever seen. Women won the right to vote and the opportunity to be seen as equals. Slavery was abolished. Wars were fought. And it began with a battle for the hearts and minds of the people.
Today we are still faced with bias and racism the battle for freedom still has to be fought for some. As the dream for racial and gender equality inches closer. Our society becomes more and more focused on technology. Lightening fast communitcation now allows us the ability to talk with anyone anywhere at just about any time instantly. We have email, IM, twitter, google, iPhones, and laptops that keep us up to speed with the world around us. News and information is everywhere we look. But the dreams of a utopian society are still a far off.
Why is that?
Why are more people depressed than ever? Why are there more divorces? Why are more people popping pills to keep themselves healthy, alert, and even happy?
Where is the church in all of this? Why has Christianity seemed to have taken a back seat in modern day society? We have hope and joy more abundantly, but yet we become like the chameleon. We try to blend into society. What we want more than anything is to be normal. Even when normal is not looking so hot. Rather than change the world we sit back tell everyone we saw it coming first. We hate the ones that have been rightfully placed in authority over us. Rather than praying for them we puke and buy guns.
Does our trust really lay with Christ? Or do we trust in our own strength, in our firepower, or in how we are right morally?
The time has come for the Church to quit playing church and become the Church (the bride and body) that she was meant to be a kingdom of heaven. I’m trying not to bash, but it’s something God has really placed on my heart and not just for our land but for all.
So how does this happen, how do we change the world? Do we give more money? Do we give more of our time and energy? Do we read our Bibles more? Or Do we just need to lengthen our prayer time from five mins to twenty? And while all those things are good, the challenge the God has placed on my heart can be done on facebook or twitter. And it is simply this: Encourage one another. 1st Thessalonians 5:11 says, “So encourage each other and build each other up”. Rather than using modern technology to inform the world of your latest trip to the mall or how good the movie you just saw was. Instead post something meaningful. Post what God has been speaking into your life, post the scriptures that you have been reading, post something you saw that really encouraged you, post the victories Jesus has led you through. Or post the things that you are struggling with and see the outpouring from friends and family as they come to support you in your time of need. But more than that read what your friends are posting look for areas that you can help them look for places that you speak an encouraging word into their life and lift them up out of the lies of the enemy.
Changing the world has never started from the top and trickled down. Instead it has always started on the small scale, (2-3 people) and be brought up to the top with fire and conviction the likes of which is rarely seen.
So change starts with you, change the outlets that you have been so marvelously given to be outlets of encouragement, love, and joy. Chase away the spirits of depression and suicide from our instant-craving society.
I’m standing under an overpass. Unlike most there are quite a few people around many walking both directions up and down the street. Cars are zooming along over us as well as the on the street just beside us. I can tell it’s some time in the future based on how everything looks and the style of their clothes.
I’m here to meet someone one. A woman that I love. In the back of my mind I know I’ve proposed to someone else, but this one is my true love. We hug and spend a few mins there ignoring the noise and the people passing around us, just the two of us and some nagging guilt in my head telling me that this is the one I should be with.
As we begin to leave a white van pulls up, and just like in the movies the sliding door opens and we jump in as quick as we can. Inside is my Pastor, Pastor Michelle, and some one else driving who I never see. The inside of the van is stripped to the metal panels, expect the two captains chairs that we are sitting in. PM sits across from us and hands us two metal snaps. (if you’ve ever seen a jacket that had metal buttons or snaps that were used instead of a zipper then you’ve got the right idea) I open the snap and inside is a red pill almost. I see out of the corner of my eye the woman I’m with take the pill. I follow suit and lick the pill right out of the snap.
That’s when I woke up. (Weird right?)