There are times when I’m sad about the state of the world. There are times when I feel hopeful for change. Excited to see light penetrating the darkness. And there are times when I feel guilty for all of the blessings I’ve been given when there are plenty of people who have nothing. And then there are times when I’m just outright frustrated…and angry. Like, let’s say…now.
I’ve been on this journey over the past few months. It started with God opening my eyes to the “system” in which I’m living. And it was hard and it made me feel a little like a moron for having missed it for 25 years. Which, yes, made me feel guilty for a while. But guilt is a horrible motivator, so I had to move past that. And now I’ve had a few months of exposure to things outside of my comfort zone…and I’m at the height of frustration with the “system” of our society and our world.
I’m now sitting in downtown Starbucks and just finished having a conversation with a girl who I met through Against the Grain ministries who is a high school senior at Franklin HS. We just spent a good deal of time brainstorming what we were going to do to get her a ride to school every day this year. We are in a fairly major dilemma because as it stands, there are no options for her and she has no money to buy a car...or even to take the trolley every day. It’s crazy – how many people go through all of their school years and never have to think twice about how they are actually going to get transportation to school. My biggest dilemma in high school was that my car didn’t have a keyless entry…I actually had to put the key in the door to open it (heaven forbid).
I guess what’s frustrating about it right now is that there are so many people (Christians…who have been given the charge to be Christ’s hands and feet in this world) in this area who could help this girl solve her problem at the drop of a hat. And it’s not that I don’t believe that there aren’t plenty of people who would LOVE to help her out…it’s just that they don’t know about the problem that exists! It’s reminding me so much of Shane Claiborne’s quote: “It’s not that Christians don’t care about the poor; it’s that they don’t know the poor”.
I’m frustrated by the power of the “system” – how it’s so easy to fall into the “this-is-just-how-it-is” mentality. How easy it is for us – no matter WHERE we fall in the social spectrum – to get caught in the rut of how life is and never dream of anything different. It applies for those in the projects just as much, if not more, than for those in the country clubs. To see children simply falling in line with what their parents have exhibited with their lives…and never imagining that there might be something more – something better – for them.
Maybe I’m talking in circles…I don’t know. But I feel like that’s where my mind is right now. There’s a very small part of me that’s overwhelmingly thankful for the parents and the blessings/opportunities that I had growing up. But there’s a bigger part of me right now that’s just so frustrated that I got those blessings while many others didn’t.
God, break the hearts of Your people. Change us. Wake us up.“Living wide awake is about realizing that the world needs you to live up to your potential. There are others whose lives and future depend on you stepping up and living big. The better world you keep waiting for needs you to accept your life’s calling and responsibility, and then to create it. The future needs you to dream God-sized dreams; these are the only kind God gets involved in. And if the future needs anything, it is God working through people.” – Erwin McManus