When I first wake up each day, I take a minute to look at my smart phone. There I find email from the night, maybe a text message or two, and the ad’s headlines. Most days it is trivial information that just lets me know where the day will begin.
This morning it brought news of a young man in my congregation at Children’s Health Care of Atlanta, Scottish Rite with a diagnosis of Type I Diabetes. It also brought a news headline in the Opinion section about the growing number of pastors and church members that are overweight. That was a rude awakening for me.
It’s not that I was unaware of my weight. It is not that I have not, and am trying to do something about it. It is not that I don’t see my church members and the effect it has on their lives. it was a conscience poke because I am leaving today to visit the home office of Stop Hunger Now in Raleigh, NC. And that reminds me of the number of persons around the world that would benefit from or “excess” food and we would benefit from not having it.
We as Americans tend to live lives to excess. We over eat, we drink too much, we have been known to exercise too much, we spend too much — we have a problem as a society of exercising moderation.
As I think about what conversations will take place in the next days, and what I will learn about the issue of hunger in the world, I look in the mirror and am reminded that I can choose to change. I can choose to change my eating habits, I can choose to change my spending habits, my whole life can be changed — if I will choose to change.
It is said that people will only change when the pain of remaining the same is more painful than the change. That really holds more truth that we want to admit.
This morning I will begin a series of sermons drawn from King Duncan’s book, “The Amazing Law of Influence.” In his book, King raises the possibility that: “One life touches another life and potentially both lives are changed; one life touches another life and potentially the entire world is changed.”
The idea at the core of this book is that one never knows what effect you will have on others. For instance: Rosa Parks refused to sit in the back of the bus in Alabama. That lead Rev. Dr. Martin Luther Kind, Jr. to lead the Civil Rights Movement in America. That inspired Lech Walesa of Gdansk to lead the forces of Solidarity and bring democracy to Poland. That led Boris Yeltsin to have the courage to stake a stand of democracy in the former Soviet Union which led its demise.
Do you think Rose Parks had any idea her actions would lead to such change in the world? And in turn, what might happen as a result of the gift of one-quarter, purchasing one meal, feeding one child, in some unknown place? That may be the very child that solves some world-changing problem. That child might discover the cure for cancer, or obesity, or become a leader that bring peace to a war-torn part of the world. Who know?
And so that is one reason I am continually on the search for more quarters, to package more meals, to feed more children — because I can change the world — for only 25 cents.
Will you help change the world? Will you give 25 cents for a child to eat today? A child that will make a difference in the life of someone else, who will make a difference in the life of someone else……and on, and on….
Until the next time…..The Hog Father,