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"When I grow up, I want to change the world. It's my dream!" Big words for a boy of only seven years.
"And just how do you want to change the world?" I asked.
"I'm going to make it better! I want to be so smart that I can make hover boards that really fly. And rocket boots too! And I want to make a computer screen that looks like a window so that you can see things behind it."
I had to burst his bubble a bit and show him an example of how this is already being created, which prompted an excited description about how his future house will be entirely adorned with computer windows, one for each of his 15 kids!
(At least his idea behind it was admirable - it not only would reduce clutter but limit arguing in the household as well!).
I attempted to direct my tech-driven dreamer to other ideas such as building equipment for hospital patients or engineering more geo-friendly farms in other countries. He jumped on it, nearly exploding with excitement as he explained how he would create a machine that would use lasers to create a small house in hours. "This would be perfect for the poor!" he said convincingly.
"What would the house be made out of?" I questioned.
"Metal, of course!" he responded, a bit annoyed at my obvious lack of intelligence. "The lasers will make the shapes, holding and cutting the pieces in the air at the same time. When they're done, the lasers will fuse them together into rooms."
I was quite intrigued at this point. "And when did you come up with this idea?" I asked.
"Well, some of it right now, but I've been planning it my whole life, Mom."
Hmmmm...I wonder what this idea will look like in 20 years??
The truth is, many of us want to change the world, myself included. Given the time, money and energy, we all have ideas that we would love to implement to make the world a better place.
For example, how many of us have detailed plans as to how we would use lottery winnings to bring change?
"If I win the lottery, I'll pay off my parish debt, build new mission facilities overseas and educate the poor, provide clean water sanitation in Tanzania, buy a goat and pig for every family in Guam, and if there is some left over give enough money to the local soup kitchen to provide enough food for 10 years!"
And then the dream cloud fades away as we remember just how likely it is that the winning numbers will ever be in our hands. We all know the odds - and they are not quite in our favor.
However, the odds are HIGHLY in our favor that we will wake up tomorrow with MANY opportunities to change the world. I promise you, the opportunities are there, no matter what state in life you may find yourself. So, why do we minimize this reality? We should be excited by it!! Why? Because what we do MATTERS. It matters to the world around us. It matters to our souls. But mostly, it matters to the One who created you for a purpose that only YOU can accomplish.
The truth is, changing the world is a requirement by our faith. If one were to look closely at the "fine print", Jesus, the only one in the history of mankind who can claim the "Top Dog" title of changing the world, has made this part of our job description as Christians.
For some, this requirement can strike a chord of fear and defeat before we even begin. Doubting questions like How could I do anything amazing enough to change the world? enter our minds. Be careful...Satan uses this exact tactic to overwhelm us. He strives to bring up our past defeats and failings in order to undermine any sparks that desire to grow into flames.
EVERYONE is called. Even the bed-ridden soul who is waiting to be called home. This is another reason why our God-given dignity never expires, even before death. When a patient smiles through the pain, attempting to comfort those who are trying to comfort him, it leaves a lasting affect on those left behind that will continue to ripple outward upon the world long after this beautiful soul has left the earth.
Changing the world for Christ takes place one step at a time. Author and Speaker Matthew Kelley makes an awesome case for this in his book Rediscovering Catholicism. Just as an athlete starts with manageable, short periods of conditioning and skill training to prepare for a marathon, we also start small.
Smiling in the long grocery line as others may grumble around you is that small step to changing the world. Praying as an ambulance goes by for those inside is another small step. Believe it or not, even reading a book that nurtures your faith takes that step.
The thing is, each small step leads to another, and as you begin to affect the world for good through these small steps, you are growing in virtue and preparing yourself for bigger steps. Eventually, you may find yourself called to join a ministry, assist someone in need, or gain the strength to close a negative door in your life.
EACH STEP CHANGES THE WORLD.
Look for the opportunities. They are everywhere!
It's time to get excited and believe - the world is waiting for YOU!!
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May your Lent be truly fruitful and fill you with longing for His Resurrection!
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Hi! I'm a Catholic mom who loves to encourage and support others in their journey to live the beauty of our Catholic faith in a modern world. It can be a struggle, no doubt, but God has given us the tools we need! Join my family (both immediate and extended!) and me as we take on this incredible journey of our path to holiness.
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