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To Change the World
Photo: Ben Ullman
I was at work, sipping something hot, trying to wake up, checking emails, printing out calendars, when I decided to take a few moments to read an excerpt from my devotional book by Eugene Peterson. The short, 12-line passage was exactly that—short. But in it I found great truth.

It reminded me of my drive into work that morning. I was listening to NPR (National Public Radio) and to my delight, recording artist, singer/songwriter John Mayer was being interviewed. And he was discussing songs off of his new album, two of them specifically dealing with political issues that are obviously important to John Mayer and many 20-somethings. The lyrics of both songs are deep and thought-provoking. They touch on issues like what is this generation waiting on to change the world? In the midst of all the wars and hatred, where is the love for each other? For humanity? Where is our compassion?

As I read my 12-line passage from Eugene Peterson, he concisely wrote about how we, as Christians, need to be actively present in the lives of our fellow believers when they’re walking through their dark valleys. And I thought to myself—maybe John is on to something.

I often catch myself saying to those I care about who are going through something tough, “I’ll keep you in my prayers.” Or I’ll say to myself, I want to get involved with an organization that will help fight the AIDS epidemic in Africa, but I somehow never do. Eugene Peterson described this type of behavior like this, “Writing cheerful graffiti on the rocks in the valley of deep shadows is no substitute for companionship with the person who must walk in the darkness.” And isn’t that the truth. We are not merely Christians, but more than that we are Christ’s disciples, followers of Christ. Meaning, when we find ourselves in situations to offer someone hope, that we do just that. That we give them a full taste of God’s power not just a mere appetizer-sized helping of “I’ll keep you in my prayers.”

Take the Time to Care

Christ did not passively live out his ministry. He actively did so. If we’re around someone who is hurting why not practice discipleship? Cry with them or let them just sit there and cry with you. Take the time to talk for hours in a coffee shop. Take the time to send care packages to those in need or at war. Feed those who need it. Take the time to care. Take the time to love each other. As it says in Hebrews 13:1, Stay on good terms with each other, held together by love."

So, are we really waiting on the world to change? Are we waiting for someone else to get involved, to care enough and love someone enough to get involved, to say or do something? Why wait? We are here, now! We’re breathing, living, walking disciples of Christ now. If the world doesn’t change it’s because we’re not changing it. And I think that’s precisely what John Mayer was trying to get across in his song. It’s time to wake up and love others enough to care. I don’t want to stay indifferent. I don’t want to wait anymore. Our time to do something, to change the world, to leave a legacy is now. There is NO better time than the present.

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By Andrea Torres. Copyright © 2013 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from THE MESSAGE ®.

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