Who Do You Think You Are?

Seriously who do you think you are to change the world? Why do you think you can make a difference? What makes you think that you are anybody to make a difference?

 Let me just say I’ve been hearing this kind of talk for my entire life. Not smart enough, not rich enough, not famous enough, not good looking enough, not a lot of things enough. But I want you to sit down for a minute and think, and think about all of the monumental shifts in history, all of the great movements of our time, all of the events that matter to most to the world we live in. Now think about how those things came into being, and suddenly you are back to the dream of one person.

Do you attend a Protestant church? Then thank Luther for stopping being a drunken womanizer. Do you attend a Catholic church? Then you need to thank Peter for putting down the fishing rod. Are you part of the Coptic church? Then thank mark for returning to Africa to bring the gospel back to the land that raised our Christ. Are you enjoying your civil liberties then you need to thank men like MLK who decided to stay within the comfort of his small church and dream of a better day without action would be a sin. Are you inspired of the companies that have joined the (RED) pledge and are making a difference in Africa? Then thank Bono for having the vision to pursue things that “rock stars” aren’t supposed to care about.

So where does that leave you? Where does that leave me? Well if you are like me it leaves you with a pile of excuses, debt, kids, family, job, life…. You name it, I have a reason I can’t do it, but the reality of the situation is that I have these excuses because of fear. Fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of success. But that’s why I’ve decided to stop hiding behind the fear and to lash out at the world and the injustices that thrive there today! My heart burns for the plight of the orphan, but it’s bigger than that as well. My heart burns for racial reconciliation in the church, but that is barely the tip of the iceburg. My sould yearns for change, and I am trying, by taking it one step at a time.

Unfortunatly many, if not most live a shallow empty life that is soon forgotten when they are gone.

But all of the big causes are gone people say. If I was alive during the days of slavery I would have made a difference then, I would have  been able to do something with that. (I’ve really heard this statement) I could have been an abolitionaist and really made a difference then! But did you know there are over 27,000,000 people that are currently living in slavery today? Thats more slave today than the total of slaves taken from Africa in the 400 years of the Trans-Atlantic slave route. Can you make a difference? Are you really willing to be an abolitionist? What if it means boycotting diamonds so that the DeBeers and Oppenheimers (the major owners of the majority of diamond mines the world) no longer find their slave trade to be profitible.  It’s easy to take a stand against blood diamonds, I mean no one wants to finance a war, so taking a stand on blood diamonds is easy, they are illegal anyways right? But look down at your hand, or your wifes hand, or the bling on your grill, or rolex, and think about the 7 year old kid that dug up the diamond under the barrel of the gun. Think about the 10 year old girl who is raped every night by her captors after she ends a 12 hour shift cutting the diamond down into a sellable size. These aren’t the children of the “blood diamonds” No this is the life of the Debeer “family” Are you still willing to be a modern day abolitionist? Are you willing to take a stand? Then join me and the over 50,000 people willing to sign a petition to end modern day slavery! No a petition isn’t enough, you have to do more. A diamond is a woman’s best friend? Yeah, the DeBeer family made that marketing slogan famous.

This is just a small part of the problem, look in your local neighborhood. We are screaming that gangs are on teh rise, teen pregnancy is on the rise, drugs are on the rise, violent crime is on the rise, but no one want’s to deal with the root of it. Broken hearts are on the rise. We live in a wounded world. People flock to the gangs to find solace from their broken hearts, they do the drugs to sooth the pain, they cut their arms to make a pain that over rides the pain of their heart. There is a broken generation growing up in our midst, one who’s heart is hurting and the apathetic and impotent church of my parents generation isn’t going to cut the mustard. There is a need to find a new way to love, and new way to show Christ, a new way to make a difference. As one movement has termed it, we must write love on our arms.  You want to see a difference in the gangs, you want to see the kids turn somewhere else instead of drugs. Well then be that person. Big Brothers, Big Sisters needs you, any mentor program for youth you can find needs you, the run away shelters and hotlines need you. And if this is a passion of your heart, if this makes you come alive inside the Church needs you develop a strategy to be that place to turn to that is real and stable and “legit”  Seriously take a hard look at your church youth group, now look at the 13 year old kid that just joined the gang down the street, are the tools there to deal with the reality of the hurting kids that are joining the gangs? Is there anything there that would make the kid looking at the gang even want to look twice at your church? They are joining the gangs to fill the void and to help the hurt of the broken heart, not to eat pizza on Sunday night and to listen to an old dude preach for 30 minutes. They need people willing to invest into their lives, to be “family” to lavish love on them after a life of being told they are unlovable. Do you have what it takes?

Now it seems as if I have gone into left feild, but I haven’t no not really. You see the era of Luther’s and King’s and X’s is past. The generation that follows one man’s movement is gone and past. But the generation that follows one man’s difference to another man is here.

Once there was a wise blind kung fu master who was teaching his young grasshopper the secrets of life. (yes I like the kung fu movies, and yes this is a scene from Kung Fu the series) Young grasshoper was bored and was skipping stones across the lake they were sitting next to when his master asked him what the final destination was of the stones he was throwing. Grasshopper replied, “nowhere I guess” His master retorted, “Everything has a beginning and an end to it’s journey, when you pick up the stone it begins it’s journey, so where does it end?” Grasshopper replied “At the bottom of the lake I guess” At this point the master picked up a stone and threw it into the lake, “Does not the stone create waves when it enters the lake?” “Yes” replied young Grasshopper. “How many waves does it make? Where do they go?” Asked the master. Grasshopper looked for a moment and replied, “The waves appear to go everwhere they touch every edge of the lake and ripple ever willow in the water, they appear to be infinate” The master replied, “Yes, so it is with life, every choice you make affects another in life, every person you touch touches another, they choices you make today will still be making waves 100 years after you are long dead”

I have my own passions, social justice for the poor and needy being at the top of that list. Orphans ranking at the top of that list. But that is the passion of my heart, not yours. Perhaps your heart burns for the abused woman, the battered child, the run away teen, the alcoholic father. Maybe your heart comes alive with accounting, with web design (by the way if your heart comes alive with webdesign and you would like to dontate a website for a non profit my wife and I have started please e-mail me) Maybe your hear comes alive under the hood of a car, or on the back of a motorcycle, painting pictures, or whitewashing walls, it takes it all to make the complete picture. The question is where do you fit in, and are you willing to start doing it?

Isn’t it time that the world actually did become a better place? Isn’t it time that it was because of you?

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2 Responses to “Who Do You Think You Are?”

  1. alright Avery! this was great!

    Mary

  2. I am SOOO behind in my blog reading, but I did not want to let this post go by without a comment. You are absolutely right!! We are all responsible to make a difference, in our own way. Thank you for the reality check. I’m quite sure we all needed it!!!

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