I've been thinking a lot lately about change. I believe we serve a God of change. In 2 Corinthians 3:18, Paul said that we are constantly being transformed from glory to glory. A few chapters later in 2 Corinthians 5:17, he remarked that anyone who is in Christ is a new creation, with all things becoming new. Philippians 1:6 reminds us that God is in the process of completing the good work He began in us and will carry it on until completion. That sounds like change to me. :) I'm so glad to know that God is always working on me, molding and shaping and changing me. It gives me hope.
Some people don't like change. They think that whoever you were when you were twelve, or sixteen, or twenty five, is who you should be forever. But I think it would be a sad commentary on Christians if we were always the same. Actually, a sad commentary on the creative God we serve. He uses us to display His glory and start revolutions in the world. We are supposed to be the agents of change for good. Christians should be the most vibrant, alive, creative beings on the planet. I believe when God wants to change the nation, He breathes ideas into the hearts and minds of His people, individually and collectively. It's been recorded in history, in the Bible, and I've seen it in my own life. Naysayers may negatively call them "trends", and sometimes they might be. But wonderful things, like revivals, start with "trends" of hearts turning toward God. I've seen a recent trend toward adoption. I believe this is a wonderful revelation of the heart of God in our nation. He is turning the hearts of believers to the orphans, something that He stated as a desire of His heart back in the Old Testament but He is breathing new life into around the world today. God is reviving the heart of the family and calling people back to a quiver-full mentality. This is not a new thing, but thank the Lord it has gotten new life as God breathes this into the minds of believers. These things are evidence of God still being at work in the world, through His people.
One change I've been convicted to make this year is to get my head out of the sand. I'll be honest. I don't watch the news; I don't read the newspaper; I rarely even listen to the radio. I rarely know what's going on in the world. It's not that I'm not interested, I just feel so behind. Most people who watch the news, know the background behind it all. When something has happened in Palestine, they know what it means because they know the history behind it and what happened last week. Not me. I get these snippets and they make no sense because I don't understand what it really means in the grand scheme of things. I've realized it makes me feel pretty powerless. I don't vote, I don't get in on the political issues because I feel powerless to do anything about it anyway. I've also realized it makes me pretty depressed when I know what's going on in the world. I end up feeling totally hopeless. But this year, that is going to change. Knowledge is power, so I'm going to arm myself with knowledge. I'm going to figure out what's happening, so that I can be an agent of change for good. I'm only one person, but so is each person on the planet. One more knowledgeable, concerned citizen has got to be a good thing.
I've got some particular things I'm passionate about that I'm going to start with, and I'm sure that will lead to the pursuit of more knowledge. As a concerned mother of five, I'm learning as much as I can about the best nutrition for my children. I've becoming quite a documentary junkie because they pack a lot of information into an hour :). Having just watched "Food Inc." and "The Future of Food" has given me a greater understanding of the importance of organic, locally-grown food and the dangers of some of the meats. Already I'm looking into some sources for our meats, milk, eggs, fruits and veggies. I was struck by the statement in one of the documentaries, "Every time you go to the grocery store, you vote. The stores will provide what you demand. Your choices at the grocery store directly affect the future of food." Wow! Talk about power! Other things I'm learning more about are Fair Trade and biomedical research. Brian recently heard a speaker at C12 who talked about having a Biblical worldview of such issues as stem cell research. He bought me a book about it so I can learn. :)
I plan to pick up a newspaper now and then and read it with my children. We can learn together. My spiritual gift is encouragement, and I looked up the word in the online dictionary the other day and was blown away by its meaning: "to inspire with courage, spirit, or confidence; to promote, advance, or foster; embolden; hearten, reassure, urge, support, cheer, buoy." We can learn together, I can embolden and buoy them toward a Biblical worldview of the issues, and together we can promote the right things. Maybe in a year you will see us holding up signs in a protest or something! Imagine that! At least, maybe we will write to our Congressmen about something we decide to support. Maybe in some small way, as I become empowered, I can empower them as well.
I think Change #1 will be a good one.