Thursday, October 19, 2006
A song review
A couple of weeks ago I received a generous gift of CDs to listen to from a friend of a friend of mine. I have not gotten to all the songs and the music, but one album I have played over and over. That album is the John Mayer’s Continuum album. One song that caught my ear was the first track on the album called “Waiting on the World to Change”.
The character in this story in the song, according to several interviews with John Mayer, is trying to explain why his generation seems apathetic toward most efforts to make this world a better place. As the song says, “we see everything with the world and those who lead it, we just feel like we don’t have the means to rise above and beat it.”
The solution that the character in the song offers is simply waiting until some time in the future when the world is a better place and making a change seems easier. He suggests that this may happen as the older generation of leaders passes away and younger generations are able to more easily transition into places of influence and do the right thing.
The Bible suggests a less withdrawn position toward the world around us. It challenges us to remember that God can use us to make a difference while we are still young (I Timothy 4:12). Jesus told us to be the “light of the world” (Matthew 5:14), and to be “the salt of the earth” (Matthew 5:13). Jesus told us that God loves the world (John 3:16), and that he is sending us into the world on his behalf (John 17:8). He tells us not to fear the evil in the world as we go to make a difference because he has overcome the world (John 16:33).
From early on, I have always seen my ministry in churches as having two missions. One mission is to do the administration, outreach, discipleship and ministry tasks that the church has asked me to do. The other was to use whatever influence I have to foster healthy transformation of churches so that they can be more engaged with and active in the world around them. When I shared this with a denominational executive when I was in an interview in seminary, he told me that I needed to have courage to make one change in myself for every change I was asking the church to make. I took that advice to heart. And although I am not perfect, I hope that people can see that I am a person that allows the Holy Spirit to grow me, however slow that may be.
What change do you want to see in the world? Do you wish people were better mannered in public? Go out of your way to be courteous to others! Do you want to see more young people in church? Make yourself more open to working with young people! Do you want to see a loved one be more connected to God? Become more connected to God through prayer yourself.