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If you could do one thing to change the world for the better, what would it be?

It’s very easy to get frustrated with the way things are today. There are many things that need to be fixed. Here are some of the things that I consider…

War

Crime

Political division

Substance abuse

Disease

Homelessness

Environmental problems

Hunger / Lack of clean water

Absence of parental guidance

There is a tendency to look at a problem, see the magnitude of it, and simply back away and do nothing because it seems overwhelming or futile. Yet, many amazing, world-changing things occur because a single person takes that first small step.

The world seems too large to influence yet some of you are destined to influence communities, states, nations. But most of us will live our entire lives on a much smaller scale. So what one thing could you change on a smaller scale to make the world a better place? Many have turned the tide because they stepped out, did or said something, and influenced others toward change.

Winston Churchill, the British Prime Minister during World War 2, is best remembered for his inspiring speeches and for his refusal to give in, even when things were going badly. He successfully led Britain through World War 2. He changed his world.

Rosa Parks was not the first African-American to boycott racial segregation but she was the first one to see her act of “civil disobedience” through the lengthy court process. She, and the year-long bus boycott that followed, became important symbols for others to rally against racial segregation. She changed her world.

One man…one woman…making a significant change to their world by taking that first small step.

You are one man, one woman. What first small step could you take to influence your world – on a large or small scale?

For me, it comes down to looking for opportunities to come alongside a person who is struggling or in a personal crisis. It might be a pending divorce, a health issue, errant children, or depression. Sometimes their crisis seems much too large for me to influence. But I can pray with them and for them, I can tell them what God says about their situation, I can point them to a Creator who will never abandon them - even in the darkest days. A first small step.

There’s a huge difference between optimism and hope. Optimism is defined as “confidence about the future or a successful outcome of something”.

Hope is the “expectation of something desired; desire combined with expectation”.

We can be optimistic about our circumstances or we can have the expectation that our outcome will be positive.

My hopes and expectations originate with Jesus. Once I chose to put my trust in Him, I no longer had to worry about my future. Despite what life throws at me, I have an expectation that God will see me through it. He will stay by my side, His Holy Spirit will guide me through it, and eventually, I will live forever worry- and pain-free with Jesus in Heaven. My hope! My expectation!

The first thing you can do to change your world is to choose to follow Jesus. You can begin to lead a life that is not perfect, but a life that is hopeful.

If you already are a Jesus-follower, take that first small step – whatever it may be – to change the world around you. That step will look different for each of us. Don’t be afraid. You have nothing to lose. Be hopeful! Be expectant! Change your world.

Sylvia Gaston, Children’s Pastor

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Sylvia Gaston is the Pastor of Children’s Ministry at Koinonia Church. Any comments may be sent to sylvia@kchanford.com

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