A few years ago I heard about an incident that blew my mind. It happened in Australia. According to the news report, a group of friends had been partying all night, and most of them collapsed wherever they found a place. One of the guests was examining a rifle and accidentally shot one of the inebriated partygoers in the leg. The victim politely woke up, saw the wound in his leg and went back to sleep.
I just got back from Urbana ‘06, a student missions convention hosted by Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, with more than 22 thousands students from more than 50 countries who have come together to discover their calling and fulfill God’s will for their lives. Urbana ‘06 was unlike anything I’ve experienced before, from the sheer size, the magnificent worship, phenomenal speakers, exhibitors, book-store and country prayer sessions at the hotel. Urbana was in a class of its own.
I come from a family that is old-fashioned. It was a regular occurrence in my house-hold to be told by my elder brother, "be quiet, you don’t know anything." Even to this day I’m convinced he feels that way. When that happened I always felt undermined and undervalued.
I want to be world changer. I want the world to be better for my life. I also want to be successful. I want security. I want to get married. I want to have a family, have a good-paying job with a big house with an ice-cream machine in my kitchen so I can watch soccer and eat my ice cream. I want stability. I want to feel secure knowing that things in my life aren’t at risk of suddenly changing.
Most of the time, I feel I cannot have both. I cannot be a world changer and have security. I have to decide. I don’t want to decide. I want to take care of my family and not feel that to do something for God I have to go and sell all my possessions. I want to keep my possessions.
I was reading Ephesians 2 now the other day, and I was stopped dead in my tracks. Ephesians 2: 10 says, "For we are God’s own handiwork [His workmanship], recreated in Christ Jesus, born anew that we may do those good works which God predestined [planned beforehand] for us taking paths which He prepared ahead of time, that we should walk in them living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live"(Amplified Bible).
I felt inspired. I felt free. I felt ashamed—ashamed of my selfish ambitions. I realized that success, security, money and a big house is all about me. Yet I was created for good works. Whichever way you look at it good works involves doing something for other people. If you are hungry and I give you a sandwich, that’s good works.
I was not created for success. I was created for more than success. I was created for good works. God gave me a work then gave me the equipment to do the job: my gifts, talent, personality, my experiences and my pain. It was given for my good works.
I also realized that it is only when I am doing things for other people that I feel most satisfied. I feel fulfilled. I feel God smiling over me.
Unlike my brother who thinks I don’t know anything, God looks at me and my life, my heart, my views, my aspirations, my take on the world and says, "that’s just what I need."
The story of the man who was shot in the leg and went back to sleep reminded me of how the majority of people, including Christians, live. They may see that something is wrong, but they go back to sleep pretending that everything is okay. A world changer sees what is wrong and feels compelled to do something about. And we are living in the world changed by those who saw something wrong and decided to do something about it : Billy Graham, Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Ghandi, Winston Churchill, Mother Theresa. Like them, we too are invited to change the world, because we were created for good works.