I both love and hate conversations about the world’s challenges and problems. I love the dialogue – finding and agreeing on the heart of the problem, exploring the potential for solutions in a wide ranging, free wheeling conversation, and then pushing ourselves forward to act with commitment and passion. Yet far too often the intensity of the moment passes and we walk out into the night unchanged except for our frustration.
How many times have I found myself talking about doing something related to unemployment? Does anyone see the inherent irony in discussion the poor and hungry while eating a legendary meal prepared by a great chef? Is there anything really fulfilling in words without experience, rhetoric without action, and passion without movement?
I don’t feel bad that I have not been able to solve world hunger; so far the solution has eluded us all. I don’t feel guilty in the blight of the homeless, even though the cost in terms of human misery, sacrifice, and ongoing pain is beyond comprehension. I do not sense the all consuming call to deal with any problem on a macro level. The reason is simply that I haven’t moved in a tangible way on the micro level – i.e. with myself and the immediate surroundings!
The answer is quite simple. The words are old but the solution has been in front of you and me for a long time. Bluntly put, “go home and wash up. Clean up your act. Sweep your lives clean of your evildoings so I [God] don't have to look at them any longer. Say no to wrong.” (Isaiah 1.16)
Today is wide open. We can make a difference, especially for ourselves. We don’t have to complete step one before moving onto step two. Things can be launched and then run concurrently. Yet the first step is the hardest; deal with the junk within. Take a stand. Make a difference, especially to and for your inner soul. What begins within can and will cascade to others. Start where it counts. Be real. Be engaged. Simply be.
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