But then I heard the Holy Spirit. With one question, I was convicted.

How can you change the world you’re running away from?

I’ve heard the world described as “the person beside you.” That the world doesn’t have to be the entirety of earth and all its occupants, but rather the sad-eyed barista who serves you espresso, the mom who’s craving some extra parent-child bonding, the boss who seems just a little off this week. In this case, to change the world is to impact the people in your spaces. This, however, is easier said than done. Cause let’s be honest, people suck. Usually unintentionally, sure. But they suck nonetheless.

Sometimes the barista doesn’t smile back, or sometimes the quality time with mom quickly becomes a “let-me-give-you-advice-on-all-these-things-that-I-really-should-not-be-giving-you-advice-on” session, or sometimes your boss misinterprets your concern as ingenuine. And so, situations in which you’d intended to love and uplift, can leave you feeling discouraged and annoyed.

33 He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.” (Matt. 13:33)

We are yeast. We are appearingly small and ineffective, but we are potent. “A morsel of yeast is seemingly engulfed and consumed in the larger lump of dough; however, the leaven actually ends up permeating the flour, transforming the dough and making it rise.” Similarly, your kind words and loving actions are noted. They have not been overwhelmed by the largeness of the world. They are doing its work. So look to the “God who gives endurance and encouragement” (Romans 15:5). Remember the cross. Remember what He did for you. Remember your own resistances. Allow these memories to fill your heart with mercy.

Don’t give up. Don’t turn away. “Don’t grow weary in doing good” (Galatians 6:9).

After all, how can you change the world you’re running away from?

I encourage you to keep smiling at the barista. Use their name. I encourage you to endure your mother’s words. Thank her afterwards. I encourage you to continue to ask about your boss’ day. Be intentional about it.

It’ll take time. Good things often do.

Aziza Gore
JU Intern

March 1, 2018