Category Archives: transformation

One Moment Changes the World

One moment can change the world. Billions of human decisions are made every day across the globe. On the surface, most are innocuous or mundane, from changing a diaper to going to work. Sometimes they are history-altering, such as protests in the Ukraine or stock market crashes or rallies.

Sometimes unforeseen changes begins with a simple decision. St. Francis begins to rebuild an church one brick at a time…and a movement still vibrating begins. John Wycliffe begins translating the Bible into English and now billions can read the Scriptures in their own tongues. Bartolomeo de las Casas protests slavery and the long road to Emancipation begins. William Wilberforce stays in politics and fights for the end of slavery and scores of other causes for 50 years.

The challenges of the USA compel action, but voices of change are quickly drowned out in a sea of agitprop polemics. The current levels of hypocrisy and self-deception, short-term thinking and political manipulation are unprecedented in our history. It is not only the elites that are to blame. Millions of people are consciously or unconsciously capitulating to a fatalism of inaction. The gulf between professed principles and actual practices in widening daily. Consider:

  • “Everyone” loves the concept of a balanced budget. But no one will even begin with small cuts in over bloated salaries.
  • Immigration should be guided by law, but anyone supporting a modicum of regulation is a racist or xenophobe.
  • Millions are looking for work, but unwilling to labor in fields or service jobs.
  • Leaders decry the influence of lobbyists, then join their ranks as they depart “public service.”
  • Amoral anarchy is lamented as millions quietly engage in vicarious games and entertainment venues.
  • Tobacco is social evil number one…but billions of tax dollars flow from its consumption and we are making a worse mistake with “medical” marijuana. 
  • We advocate a healthy lifestyle, then pass out condoms to middle-school kids and offer “4th meal” fried food at midnight (to all the consumers of “medical marijuana.”)
Lamenting these and other evils, from abortion to divorce, redefinitions of marriage and family, educational outcomes and government intrusions into religion is easy – changing minds, hearts and wills in not.
Cries for spiritual awakening are the best start…and may they grow in intensity and sincerity.
Calls for activism and voting are helpful.
Maybe there is one more step…or millions of steps…that can propel lasting change. Perhaps each of us can have one moment that changes the world.
Our one moment arrives unexpectedly. It is veiled in other apparently “normal” decisions. Our moment dawns as we decide each day to love God supremely, love our neighbors unselfishly through our work and demonstrate in deed and declaration the veracity of the first principles that make for a flourishing life and society. If millions of “ordinary” people embark on a devoted and disciplined pathway of reverence for God, respect for all people, rigorous self-examination and right practices in their private and public life, the world will change. 
Some may emerge as leaders, even historic figures. Others will be agents of change one relationship at a time. Instead of continual lamentation, let’s ceaselessly labor for the common good. Instead of captivity to edutainment, let’s learn the proven pathways that yield prosperity for future generations. Instead of immediate pleasure, let’s infuse principles that allow the next generation to flourish.
One moment changes the world – it is our decision today.

A New Day of Integration

While Washington dithers and much of the world wanders, we can decide that 2013 will be a fruitful and meaningful year for ourselves, our families, our communities and – by extension – even our state and nation.

My new book is now out and it contains insights that help thoughtful women and men integrate faith, work and economics into their personal and spiritual growth and help local churches and communities flourish. 2013 is the year that we

  • Stop separating social justice and wealth creation, recognizing that they are partners in human prosperity at all levels.
  • End our disintegrated lives and choose integration of our callings, careers, community life and creative inspirations (special thanks to Brett and Lyn Johnson and their book, Convergence for this quartet of completeness). 
  • Seek out friends new and old and encourage one another’s dreams and visions that contains the seeds of future flourishing.
  • Help thoughtful Democrats and Republicans cease labeling and libeling each other and begin partnering for balanced budgets, new efficiencies and wise stewardship of resources so that the poor and vulnerable are cared for and our children’s futures are secure.
  • Attend funerals for nostalgia and utopianism and celebration events for first/founding principles and substantive hope rooted in timeless truths and timely observations. 
I remain unapologetically hopeful. I posses no fantasies of the days of yore or Star Trek solutions. I believe that God is working through loving and prayerful people willing to be answers to their own petitions.
The link here provides the information on my new work – an effort that arises from collaboration with so many great men and women. The Acton Institute (www.acton.org) is leading the charge for integration and I am honored  by the appointment as a senior advisor. Yes, my name is on the cover; however, my deepest desires are the glory of God and the good of others.  www.acton.org