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If You Could Change One Thing... Do It

Have you ever wished you had the ability to change the world? I mean really make some drastic changes? Naturally, we all dream of winning the lottery (even those of us who don’t actually play) or of becoming successful for one reason or another. But those aren’t the kind of changes I’m talking about.

If you had the power to do one amazing thing for the world - one   completely incredible task that would change mankind - what would you choose? 

To cure an illness?

To relieve the suffering of the mentally oppressed?

To end war?

To make sure every orphan gets a home?

To eliminate the national debt?

To save each woman and child being trafficked for sex?

To bring equality across races and genders?

To change the educational system so that each child can learn the way he or she does best?

To preserve the arts?

To end animal cruelty?

To help every home across the globe Go Green and save the  environment?

To provide relief to those facing natural disasters?

To deliver each person from homelessness or hunger?

To change our society’s rape culture?

To create programs that better support our law enforcement?

To abolish all hate crimes?

To rid our neighborhoods of the perpetual cycle of abuse that currently plagues them?

To put an end to genocide?

To release all prisoners of war?

To completely change the human condition?

Which would you choose? When you take into consideration all the amazing things that could be done if we had the power to do them, which one would you choose? Which group of people would be worthy of saving? Which cause is more deserving than the others? 

And how would you make your decision? Would there be a pro-con list or would you take into account which change would effect the greatest number of people? Or maybe would you choose something that means a tremendous amount to you on a personal level - something that’s touched your life in a real way?

My guess is that if we polled 1,000 people, each one of those individuals would have a different answer with very few repeats. I would also wager that you and I may choose a different position depending on what day we are asked, depending on what circumstances we’re currently facing.

Does that make us enemies? Does it make the other causes less noble? Does it mean that we have no love in our hearts for any other movement? No. Of course not.

In recent months there’s been a very “all or none” mentality going on. Agree or you’re my enemy. Offend me and we are no longer friends. There’s such pressure to sign a petition, join a protest, head up a fundraiser, or “like” a Facebook status just so that those around us know we are on their side - because having different life goals has, in and of itself, become too controversial.

While we’ve been so busy getting all politically correct on one another, we’ve completely missed out on the fact that we have all been created for a purpose. And guess what? That purpose is not the same for any two people. There is only one of you. There is only one of me. And thank God for that. Because we’re all screwed up enough that getting our own jobs done is already hard, let alone with all this bashing going on from one another as we attempt to follow the paths that God created us for.

The beauty of creation is that we are all SUPPOSED to be different! You are capable of something that no one else is capable of. And it’s YOUR job to stand up and fight for your position. If you’re passionate about ending obesity in children, then that’s what God has put inside of you and He’s equipped you to help motivate the next generation to be healthy. 

So Do It.

If you’re up at night couponing until your hands are sore, then God’s created you to be a leader of financial responsibility to your children and your spouse. He’s given you the knowledge to see bargains and to grab them, spending your money on what’s important and not what’s frivolous. 

So Do It.

If you constantly feel the ache inside to visit hospitals and nursing homes, so that those toward the end of their lives never know the agony of loneliness, then God has created you to pour into those lives with everything inside of you. 

So Do It.

Is your mission more important than another? Of course not. Does the environment need our attention? Absolutely. Do black lives and blue lives and all the lives matter equally? One-hundred-percent YES!

So answer me this one question.

What are you doing about it? 

Because if you say “nothing”, then you’re part of the problem. You have to be doing YOUR part - the part that was created just for you by a God that can see the big picture. He knows which mountains need to move and He’s placed all the players in the correct positions. But if those players refuse to move, then so do the mountains. 

If you don’t do your part, no one will be there to pick up the slack for you. And if you think your part is to criticize and fight with everyone around you about how you don’t like their movement or their giftings, then REALITY CHECK... YOU’RE the problem!

Life was never meant to be about getting up each day, going to work, fitting in social calls, getting people from point A to point B, and then going to bed. Those are things we need to do, yes. But that’s not what life is actually about. So today, I challenge each of you to find your passion. To get off your computers, your phones, and your T.V.s and get on your knees to ask God exactly what you were created for. Because I assure you, there IS a reason. And it’s supremely important that you start living like it.

Jesus came for us all. He suffered and died for us all. He covered my sins and yours with blood that is so sacred, so pure, that it has the power to bind us to our Father and protect us from our deserved punishments. It’s through this amazing grace that we find the ability to rise above insults, to overcome petty disputes, to walk in love instead of hate.

Because at the end of the day, to do anything less is a waste of life itself. 

If I could choose any one thing to make the world a better place? It would be to put an end to spiritual death so that each person can live the life God created them to live.

So Do It.

Photo by  Phanuwat Nandee

 

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We Don't Have to Agree in Order to Love

            I am a parent of children with special needs.  Oftentimes I find myself on the receiving end of terrible behavior and on the giving end of yet another lecture or adult tantrum.  I do not always agree with my children’s behavior, but I love them anyway.

            My husband is not perfect.  He sometimes says bad words while doing home improvement projects and he lets our children ingest far more junk food than I would ever allow on my watch.  I do not agree with each of my husband’s choices, but I love him anyway.

            I don’t feel that this is a difficult concept to understand.  Do you?

            Because lately it seems like society is struggling to realize what is so basic to me.  That we can love without agreeing.  That we can find a way in this world without feeling the need to be cookie-cutter in our beliefs.  That we can reach out to others, even when we are on different sides of the political, religious, racial, and gender fences.

            I ask myself daily, What is going on with this world?  Why is there so much need to make everyone believe the same way in order for us to exist with one another? Why must we “take sides”? Why are we judged for not changing our Facebook profile pictures to support the latest world crisis?  When did being either Republican or Democrat mean that we are no longer united, or even simply American?

            I am a Christian.  I am a registered Independent voter.  I am Heterosexual.  I am a Caucasian woman, wife, mother, and daughter.  And I’m terribly concerned about the fact that our culture is pushing me into a corner where I am only allowed to associate with those of “my kind” out of fear that my love for ALL mankind may be tainted by intolerance or disagreement in some way.  I am even more concerned that so many of those around me seem unaware that they, too, are being pushed into their own very specific corners.

            As a person, I don’t have to agree with your views on sexuality, your opinions on gun control, or your stand on immigration.  And as a Christian, I most certainly do not have to change my own beliefs to co-exist with my neighbors.  Because in my eyes, ALL human life is precious.  And that is why I will mourn for every life.  Whether that life is lost to cancer, a shooting, suicide, war, or even execution on death row – you will not find me on the rejoicing end of anything that means one person is given permission to take the life of another.

            Perhaps that makes some of my Republican friends angry.  And maybe some of my Democrat friends will send me frustrated emails.  I would guess that even my Christian friends could find some way to disagree with something I believe.  But here’s the thing, folks.  Are you ready?

            I still love you.  We don’t have to agree on everything.  We barely have to agree on anything!  You are created by a God that has a plan for your life.  And whereas you may not be on the same path that I think is correct, I still love you.

            Understand this.  My love is not a Tolerance vs. Acceptance kind of love.  It’s not a love that means I’ll bad mouth you behind your back when I walk away.  I will love you with the only kind of love that I know… the kind that allows me to still hug my kids before bed, even when they’ve been complete turds.  And it’s a love that lets me snuggle close to my husband at night, even though we fought about money just hours before.  It’s a Godly love – plain and simple.

Photo by www.pocketcultures.com

Photo by www.pocketcultures.com

            For some reason, we always try to include ourselves into the tragedy of others.  We put our own views ahead of what we’re called to do, which is love others through their pain.  Why can’t we just grieve our country’s repeated losses without being judged, lessened by disagreements over lifestyle, or arguments over political debate?  At what point are we just blatantly disrespecting another’s loss by including ourselves in the mix, like it’s somehow about us personally?  

            Just as easy as it was in the beginning of this post, I will say it again:  I do not have to agree with someone’s choices in order to grieve their loss.  Period.  Because it’s not about us.  It’s never been about us.  It’s always been about a sinful world, in need of a Savior – in need of large amounts of grace and mercy.  And when the world is hurting, I want to be Jesus’ hands and feet of that mercy, not another roadblock that pushes people to their respective corners.

            So today, as a concerned citizen, I say this:

            If you do not have love for any particular person or group, then please allow God to check your heart and fill you with His love – one that is pure and prays for those who struggle or who are causing contention or who have committed a crime.  Ask Him to give you love for those who are like you as well as for those who are very unlike you.  Let yourself be overwhelmed with the loss of any life and to pour yourself out in any way that you can.

            And I also have this to say… to those of you who feel defensive – to those who walk around feeling targeted or unsupported – to those who are always ready for an argument or judgment or political battle – You, too, should allow God to check your heart.  Learn to accept love from those around you without turning everything into a debate.  Learn to disagree peaceably and to not make every act of kindness from another group into something that fits a particular agenda.  Allow yourself to put down your weapons and your fists when someone offers a helping hand.

            Because we are all people.  And we were all created by the same Holy God.  And we all need His love.

            And we can all learn to love, despite disagreements.

            Choose to be peace.  Choose to be hope.  Choose to be love.

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