I look in my newsfeed, and I see a lot of concern and worry about North Korea. We’re in a standoff, it seems. Are we looking at war? Are we ready? Nuclear warfare is no light threat.
But then I look a different direction, and I see more concern and worry. Riots in Virginia, people tearing each other apart across the country, voices raised to be heard but no one stays quiet long enough to listen. People sharing their stories and trying to point out the struggles they are having, and it instantly becomes politicized, and no amount of “this is how I FEEL” or “this is my personal experience” makes it safe from scrutiny or counter arguments. And I wonder if it even matters whether we’ll escape the war outside, only to be defeated by the war within.
And then I look behind, and see where we’ve come from. I wonder if this is how it looked like, when it was Russia and the US facing off in a nuclear stalemate. You can say that we had better presidents then, and even if they weren’t the greatest they still held themselves with more decorum than our sitting president. But it doesn’t really matter now, does it? When people are as scared now as they were then, and still scrambling to juggle daily living while also wondering how to prepare a contingency plan or have supplies ready “just in case.”
And I look at the unrest we had then, the war protests and the Civil Rights and the surging waves of polarized groups that fought to maintain control of a country to which they both had rightful claim. And there were shootings and riots and demonstrations both peaceful and violent. The preachers preached from their pulpit and the politicians from their podiums, each throwing their weight to their chosen cause whether for righteousness or candidacy, and meanwhile the social activists bringing light to causes affected by both.
And it’s enough to drown under, especially when you are only one person and even in linking arms with your fellows there’s still no way to stop the tide, because you are only a few individuals and after all, who can control politicians and governments and whole countries?
But then I look upward – upward at the God over all, the one who’s held the world in his hands since the beginning of time. And it’s easy to say he’s not around when there is so much going on, to say that either he isn’t strong enough or caring enough to even try and stop it. But that misses the fact that God much prefers working on a smaller scale, and it’s always been his way. He’ll use a boy with a stone and a shepherd with a stutter before he uses a full army. It seems to be a repeating theme with this God to turn a whole country around with the efforts of a single person or a few individuals. If he ends up using something bigger, it’s to get our attention because we didn’t listen to the smaller notices he sent our way first.
And that’s the kicker there – him trying to get our attention. And once it’s gotten, what will you do about it? We CAN directly affect the world around us. We can reach others, we can make a difference, we can bring a change. But we can’t do it by being petty or focusing on things that were never a big issue to begin with.
What are YOU doing to make a change in the world around you?