I recently spent a few days with our Northwest Life College students at the Dream Center in Los Angeles. Yeah, it was tough, but hey someone had to go. Those mid 70’s temps needed to be enjoyed.
The Dream Center is a church located in the heart of LA. Their building is the former Queen of Angels Hospital and it overlooks the 101 traffic as it crawls along. It’s a volunteer driven organization that finds and fills the needs of individuals and families alike. The Dream Center was founded in 1994 and currently serves over 40,000 people each month.
At the conclusion of our trip we talked as a group about what we observed, enjoyed and found challenging.
The students shared various answers and the discussion was going well. It was clear that our students wanted to bring the Dream Center’s spirit of love and compassion for their city home with them.
The question was, how?
What we saw was so huge. The needs seemed endless. Skid row seemed so overwhelming. How could we make a difference like that back home?
What could we do?
The answer may seem simple, but I believe it’s actually how change occurs.
We each needed to answer this question:
What can I do?
If you want to change the world, you must start with your world.
Your world is the people you come in contact with on a daily basis.
Friends. Neighbors. Classmates. Family. Co-workers.
The change our students wanted to see starts with them.
The change your wanting to see begins with you.
Don’t wait for others. Don’t wait for the perfect moment. Don’t wait for the next opportunity.
Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant. If they watch every cloud, they never harvest. (Ecclesiastes 11.4, NLT)
100% of unsuccessful diets begin tomorrow.
It may seem insignificant, but be encouraged, it’s something new, give it time.
In the end, it’ll be worth it.
Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin. (Zechariah 4.10, NLT)
I’m hopeful our team will bring change home with them.
As for changes that I want to see in my life, they start with me.
The same is true for you.
What are you waiting for? A better you is one decision away.
3 thoughts on “What Can You Do?”
Great thoughts. And I love Ecclesiastes 11.4.
re: “start with your world.”
some missionaries from south africa spoke at my church this past week. they talked about the disappointment of being called to serve in exotic africa, only to find that they were working office jobs in a first-world city. their main point though was that for them, when we were instructed to preach the good news to the concentric circles of jerusalem, judea, samaria and the ends of the earth, those circles can be scaled down to a micro level in our own world. we are to be the embodiment of the loving care of the Lord to our families first and foremost, our regular acquaintainces of friends and coworkers next and finally to those outside of our regualar sphere.
Stephen, I love the idea that to change the world you have to start with your world.
Sometimes the change we want to bring can seem so huge. It’s so important to remember our individual “worlds” are relatively small.
I like the cliche thought of the ripple effect. Our job, essentially is to impact those close to us and allow the ripple effect to work itself out.
Thanks for reading and commenting.