... i started wondering whether we could actually change the world. i mean, of course we could- we could change our buying habits, elect socially conscious representatives and that sort of thing, but i honestly don't believe we will be solving the greater human conflict with our efforts. the problem is not a certain type of legislation or even a certain politician; the problem is the same that it has always been.
i am the problem.
i think every concious person, every person who is awake to the functioning principles within his reality, has a moment where he stops blaming the problems in the world on group think, on humanity and authority, and starts to face himself. i hate this more than anything. this is the hardest principle with Christian sprituality for me to deal with. the problem is not out there; the problem is the needy beast of a thing that lives in my chest.
the thing i realized on the day we protested, on the day i had beers with Tony, was that it did me no good to protest america's responsibility in global poverty when i wasn't even giving money to my church, which has a terrific homeless ministry. i started feeling very much like a hypocrite.
more than my questions about the efficacy of social action were my questions about my motives. do i want social justice for the oppressed, or do i just want to be known as a socially active person? i spend 95 percent of my time thinking about myself anyway. i don't have to watch the evening news to see that the world is bad, i only have to look at myself. i am not browbeating myself here; i am only saying that true change, true life-giving God-honoring change would have to start with the individual. i was the very problem i had been protesting. i wanted to make a sign that read "I AM THE PROBLEM!"
donald miller, blue like jazz, p. 19-20

i really connect with this, especially as i've been doing my readings for my youth min mission trips class. how can i be leading these students, teaching them to serve, trying to understand my own heart for justice and expecting others to love and give and act justly when i don't even use my own money wisely, when i waste it on silly things and don't take the time to even write to my senators or the money to give to at least do what i can to end poverty or the energy to research these issues i care about? when i don't even enough to get out of my own self-centered world that revolves around my feelings, my research papers, my stresses, my worries, my joys, my desires, my agendas to talk to those i love and see how they're doing? when i'm so wrapped up in myself... i do desire change in the world, in this country, for justice, real change... and i would love to challenge students in that way, but it seems i must begin in myself... but then it is something i may begin but will never truly finish, will never truly arrive, will never be who i want to be.
how does this faith work? what is this faith truly about?

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