Saturday, September 9, 2017

Waiting on the World to Change

What are you waiting for? Are you waiting for an invitation to change the world?

Picture a middle-aged man, sitting by the river, watching the water flow on by. He makes himself comfortable on that wooden seat just metres from the edge. He sees someone fishing in the distance. He’s Thinking. Praying. Watching. Waiting.

The longer he sits there, the more he considers the brokenness of the society in which he lives. The longer he ponders, he is reminded of the violent partner and the selfish teenager and the rude shop assistant, not to mention the fragile pensioner who can’t make ends meet and the politician who doesn’t seem to give a stuff.

As the water laps up onto the edge of the river bank, he can’t help but be worried for the next generation and how they’ll fare in such a community.

‘Will they show the love and respect our generation did?’He thinks to himself.

The river is captivating in its simplicity. Water flowing from left to right. The sound of the birds chirping grabs his attention. He smells the dampness of the grass and feels a gentle breeze pass his face. He sits and he waits.

But what is he waiting for? Is he waiting for someone to tap him on the shoulder and tell him to get up off the park bench and go and do something? Is he thinking that the burden of responsibility lies in someone else’s court? Is he naive and expecting that the societal issues that surround him will simply disappear? Has he convinced himself if he prays enough on that riverbed that somehow God might miraculously put everything back into place?

I think he’s unwittingly chosen to absolve himself from doing anything that will help. Maybe not intentionally. I don’t think he’s sitting by that riverbed purposefully being spiteful or angry about how the world’s fairing. I just think he’s given up. He’s served the Lord over the years. He’s enjoyed some highs and endured the lows, but this next season, well, that’s for someone else.

On his down days this man is sitting by the river reciting Psalm 137, ‘By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion.’ He’s thinking about the ‘good ole days’ when life was simpler, and less demanding; the days when facebook didn’t beep every minute and people didn’t expect you to respond to them 10pm at night. Life was less rushed. Life was a little less hectic. As he skims a rock across the flowing water, it disappears with a little plonk. He stops thinking about the good old days, because he starts to remember, there were struggles then too.

So, what will this man do? How long will he sit and ponder anew? How long will he build a list in his mind of all the problems? How long will he envisage a world in ruins, a world in need of a Saviour. How long?

What is he waiting for? Is he waiting for the world to simply change?

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