The ball dropped…
The fireworks shot off…
Toasts were made…
Confetti went everywhere…
And just like that a new decade was ushered in. But has anything changed?!? Well other than a couple of digits so that the year now reads 2020 (and let’s be honest, that’s kinda cool). I mean we are 10-ish days into this new era and the headlines and headaches all seem the same. And that’s because the year changing isn’t accompanied with magic that let’s everything begin anew. NOPE! All of our problems walked into the new year still tattered and engrained to our lives and culture.
You see change happens, I mean true, real and lasting change, when culture changes organically. That is to say that there is some catalytic element within a culture that begins to shift how people think and engage the world around them. Plainly stated, lasting change happens from the inside out.
This is why the presence of the church and followers of Jesus are so important to culture. For they/we literally offer the only hope of lasting change. And this happens when individual Christians embrace the identity granted to them through the finished work of Christ on the cross and then seek to be the preserving and illuminating elements in culture. We are to be everyday hopeful of what could be, believing and working towards the highest good. A people who seek to fulfill the desires of God for his creation as expressed in the Bible. A community focused constantly on the highest ideals. We, all of us, are to be everyday idealists.
Idealist have traditionally gotten a bad rap being perceived as someone whose head is so full of idealistic ideas that there isn’t any room left for practical implementation. In other words, idealists have been labeled as being heavy on ideas and extremely light on execution. I would like to suggest to you that we rebel against such confining, and frankly, shortsighted categories of thinking. Consider the following verses:
For we walk by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. John 16:3
Cast all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. Romans 8:18
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
Take heart…walk by faith…he cares…this present time is not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us…in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving…
Seems to me there is an optimistic tone and outlook that should characterize Christians. Because who we are in Jesus positions us to focus every day on the ideas and ideals that matter to God.
Below are the characteristics of the everyday idealist.
My prayer, hope, and/or challenge at the beginning of this new year and decade is that we all consider each, spend some time in self-reflection, embrace our true identity and in so doing, be the everyday idealists who change things for the glory of God.
- Chooses to walk with a spirit of humility
- Is intoxicated with possibility because they seek to fulfill the desired will of God.
- Is courageous enough to do the next right thing…right now.
- Is more full of cause than physical strength.
- Refuses to be imprisoned or paralyzed by what others may think of them (i.e. too young, family background, past mistakes, ethnicity, lack of education, disability, gender, lack of experience)
- Believes that procrastination is the enemy of possibility.
- Chooses conflict that unites rather than conflict that divides.
- Embraces the value in an eclectic group of friends/allies/tribe.
- Maintains a patient diligence.
- Celebrate victories, but rest only when the dream is realized.