Changing the world is too mechanical

Have you heard this classic story from the preacher's toolkit?

A man in his 20's sets out to change the world.  He sees no change.
In his 30's, he resolves to change his nation.  No change.
In his 40's, his city.
In his 50's, his family.
No change.  No change.  No change.

If he had started with himself, he might have seen change.
Change in his family.
Change in his city.
Change in his nation.
Change in the world.

All of us want to change the world.  But what if the change we want to see in the world, needs to start with us?  Small changes.  Toddler steps.  Tweaks.

God, through the church, is at work changing the world.  We struggle to participate in his work because we want to the doing the work ... active ... rather than being worked on ... passive.  Worked on.  The notion sounds mechanical and dehumanizing.  And that's why it's a good place to start.

If God changing us sounds too mechanical, maybe that's revealing.  Perhaps our thinking about change is impersonal and cold.  And perhaps this is one reason why so many of our attempts to change the world fail.

What comes to mind when you think about God changing you?

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