Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Everybody wants to change the world, but nobody wants to die.

Change is a fascinating thing. On one hand, change is always happening. Our bodies growing older, stronger, weaker, fatter. Our relationships deepening, stagnating, falling apart. It is true that change is inevitable, and yet all of us on some day or another find ourselves wishing we could change the world.

Yesterday was yet another day of change in America. Republicans gained a multitude of spots in the House of Representatives. Political tides are turning yet again. In reflection I couldn't help but remember the artwork of Shepard Fairey, made famous during the campaign of our president Barack Obama. The words HOPE, PROGRESS, and CHANGE displayed neatly across the bottom of each visually striking print. After their circulation and a few speeches "Change"and Barack Obama were absolutely synonymous in the fall of 2008. And our world did change. It always does.

But is change all we really want?

I honestly know very few people in this world who don't want it to change on some level. Whether it comes to politics, religion, parenting, pop-culture, or the morning commute everyone wants the world to change. So the question for me is less about the whether or not the world will change or should change, and more about what the world will change into when you get, when we get our way. We all want our change, which is why we have to be so incredibly careful to know what change we're hoping for and why we hope for it. Change by itself is simply not enough. Frustration with failure and change in reaction just to see a different horizon simply won't do. We need to know what kind of world we are hoping to see at the end of that change and decide that if it costs us, that we're willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish it.

This is partially why I consider myself a Christian. There is something, though often radically twisted and skewed, in the story of Christ that reminds me how I believe change works most effectively and casts a vision for what I hope for in a world changed. Jesus Christ lays down his life on behalf of the world to change the world. Sacrificing rather than Hoarding. Serving rather than imposing power. Choosing silence on the cross rather than slinging mud. Dying for Jews and Gentiles. Friends and Enemies. Both. ALL. Its through this kindness, inclusiveness, love, service and sacrifice that I personally believe the world becomes the kind of place that everyone can enjoy; experiencing the kind of change that benefits all and not only a few. The kind of change that benefits even those who don't believe its true.

Some would say that the Christian record historically is pretty shot. I would agree, that at some points in history, Christians skewing the message of Christ have done some pretty awful things. But people of all faiths, including non-faiths have done so at some point or another. That's not my argument or my fight. My simple point is that I have decided that I want to change the world, but I specifically want the world to look more like the world Jesus taught us about. Not some Christianish version of that mingled endlessly with my insecurities and whimsical hopes. Jesus. It may not be the change I always want see. But I'm trusting that its the change our world desperately needs.

Live Love.