At the University of Texas (the soon to be 2018 Big Twelve Champs…Hook ‘Em) there is a tagline: What starts here changes the world.
Reflecting back on the years since I graduated from UT (I’ll wait for the hissing to stop from my Aggie friends), I believe that statement has been one of the undercurrents of my life. I have wanted so desperately to make an impact on the world. However, the thing that bright-eyed, idealistic 22 year year old UT grad didn’t know, was how challenging it was to actually change the world.
Life can be harsh, change can be difficult and the drift into cynicism can be easy.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the work that needs to be done. Mental health, racism, bullying, gun violence, human trafficking, poverty, war and the list could keep going. If you stopped to think about it long enough, it would drive anyone mad.
So what are we supposed to do?
Through the years God has brought mentors and friends who have shared this wisdom to help me not grow weary in doing good.
God Will Carry the Weight & Strengthen Us for the Work
We are told to cast our anxieties upon him for he cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). We were never meant to carry the weight of the world, but to carry the yoke that is easy and the burden that is light (Matt. 11:30).
God calls us simply to seek first the kingdom and that all else would be added unto us (Matt. 6:33). He is the God who will strengthen us so that we can run and not grow weary (Isa. 40:31). If we faithfully do good, in due time we will reap a harvest (Gal. 6:9).
We Must Start With Ourselves
It was Leo Tolstoy who wrote, “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” Change begins from the inside out. We must be honest in assessment of ourselves.
What habits of mine are potentially contributing to the perpetuation of trafficking, poor work conditions or harming the environment? How are my consumer habits harming instead of healing? It’s hard to change the world around you when you haven’t examined the world within you.
We Must Go Together
There is too much to do alone. We need each other. God has called us to be the body (1 Cor. 12) and he has given his people different strengths, passions and callings. So we must discover our passions, find others to run alongside and work towards solutions.
God’s people are called to be rebuilders of the breach and restorers of streets (Isa. 58:12). The only way to do that is together.
Practically speaking, I want to give you something tangible ways that you can put this into action this week to help change your world and someone else’s. This Sunday, the ALLIES Market is happening from 11-6.
The Allies Market is a free event for patrons to shop responsibly this holiday season, while supporting local, socially conscious artisans and makers.
The market features fair trade, direct trade, and social enterprise merchants who use their businesses to promote employment and well-being for people in Austin and around the world. This fun, family event will have something for everyone on your list with art, jewelry, clothing, purses/bags, toys, leather goods, coffee, prints and stationary, housewares, and much more!
It was anthropologist Margaret Mead that said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Let it be said of us that we were that small group of thoughtful, committed citizens who changed the world. Let us be a people who lean into God, examine our life (in areas like our purchasing habits) and change the world together.
See you Sunday!