Part One of Two
As I write this, I am sitting in front of a crackling fire and sipping on some hot cocoa - I hope that you are just as cozy as you read. We are having unusually cold weather here in Texas this week, and it is so glorious. It really makes it feel like the holidays are finally coming. The wonderful long, dark months of autumn and winter are the perfect time to slow down, relax, and be grateful for all that God has done. (Full disclosure - today was actually a kind of comically busy day, so I am preaching to myself, and taking my own advice.)
Mid-November means we just made it through another election cycle here in America - and I say thank goodness! In our town, most of the political signs are already gone, and all of us have gone back to our regular lives. I love our country, and am so grateful to live here - however, politics seem to be inescapable right now. No matter which side of the political fence you happen to stand on, everyone, everywhere wants desperately to change the world. The bad news is that we have wildly differing ideas about what that means. The good news is that we can at least all agree on one thing - the world needs changing.
Though many do not believe in God or believe in the Biblical account of the fall of mankind in the Garden of Eden, just about everyone agrees that things are not the way they were supposed to be. We can feel and sense that, and of couse, it is true. This is not the way things were supposed to be. In the confusion and frustration of this situation, something deep within each of us wants to look around and find someone else to blame for the shape the world is in today.
I am reminded of a story I heard once about G. K. Chesterton, arguably the most brilliant British thinker of the 20th century. He was a prolific writer and correspondent, and was once posed the question -
“What is wrong with the world today?” The story goes on to say that Chesterton’s answer was both brief and revolutionary…
Yours, G.K. Chesterton.”
Rather than live in the fruitless place of continually feeling frustration with the entire world, the one thing that any of us can do is literally mind our own business. I cannot change my neighbor, but I can change myself. I cannot do anything about the attitude and behavior of any other person in any nation, but I do have the reins of my own attitude and behavior. I can control what I think and say and do, and if I will keep myself in line, the world will be a better place.
In His beautiful Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says in Matthew 7: 1-5, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
These are strong words from the One who knows all the answers! It would be wise if we heeded them. What is wrong with the world? We are all sinful and fallen. The day that all is right with the world would only be the day that every single person has bowed heart and will to God. Today and every tomorrow, I can keep working to get the huge plank out of my own eye. After Thanksgiving, we will look at part 2 of changing the world - because there is something more that we can do...
Hi! I'm Mary - mother to two wonderful grown daughters, wife to an incredible husband, and loving our life in the piney woods of Texas... (read more!)