Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Influencing a System

As I look around the world I see all kinds of systems at work. Some of them are healthy and functioning very well. Other systems while working well are leading to the destruction of people and the environment. Poverty, is not merely a problem of money and resources, it is a system problem. Politics, well that is an all together different broken system. Then there is of course the church and the institutional church. How is it then, that one person can make a difference in a system?

The first step, long before there are any letters written, before any protest signs are painted and boycotts planned, we must look at ourselves. Are we contributing to the system? When it comes to poverty, most of us are not greedy, yet consumerism, especially in America, has a grip on us that we often do not realize. Our desire to acquire supports a system which in turn furthers poverty all around the world. It is time to take a good look at the ways we use the resources we are given. It is time to ask the painful question, do I really need what I am about to buy? It is time to look at the materials we use and purchase. Do they have a negative impact of God's creation?

Only once individuals begin to live transformed lives can the system be addressed. Remember to live a transforming life we need to be in community with others who are on the journey of a transforming life. However, communities of individuals who are living transforming lives have the ability to impact the world. It would be easy to think the problem is too big and we are so small. Every part makes an impact.

The amazing thing about a transforming life, is that it is contagious. When people experience truly transforming lives, they begin to live a transforming lives. What if if caught? Think of the systems which could be influenced.

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