Yesterday I watched a movie called “The Machine Gun Preacher”. It ripped into my heart and left me with a renewed passion to continue moving in the direction to impact our world in a dramatic way. This man went to Northern Uganda and the horror he saw there drove him to take immediate and decisive action. He was never the same after that trip. One scene that jumped out at me was when he was sitting with the man who had been his guide, the man who had grown up in this country and watched the devastation first hand, and he told him that he would go back to his mission group, have his picture taken and then this would be a story he would tell his friends. This man had lost all hope that change could really happen or that anyone really cared. It broke my heart because I realized there’s a lot of talk in our churches about all the needy out there, we plan mission trips to go out and reach those less fortunate than ourselves, but how many of us go beyond that and demand action from ourselves and others. How many of us take dramatic action instead of just talk about all the bad that we’ve witnessed in the world. We come back home and settle into our lives and dive right back into apathy and self-pity. If we choose to sit and talk about all the evil in the world, but do nothing we are part of the problem. For years I have seen all of these things, but was so overwhelmed by it that I didn’t think what I could do would matter. I chose to sit on the sidelines and do nothing.
This year I started attending some leadership conferences that had a dramatic impact on my life. During the first weekend conference we were led through an experience as a group that showed each of us how we operate in our world. Through this exercise, I realized that if I think I can’t win I refuse to even try. This has shown up in my life for many years, and still I struggle to keep from falling back into this behavior. As I watched this movie, and this man who was fighting a battle that seemed doomed, it sickened me to think that so many of us refuse to step out because we believe that what we do can’t make a difference so we shouldn’t even try. This man was nearly swallowed up with anger because he was struggling to find the support he needed to continue the work that had been laid on his heart. How many lives have been negatively affected because we choose to live in apathy and self-pity and not step out because we just might fail?
Today I challenge anyone who has ever wanted to make a difference to watch this movie and then begin to pray and ask God what He would have you do to make a difference in the world. Be warned, this movie is graphic and it is not easy to watch, but I believe it will shake you to your very core, wake you up to the reality of what is going on in the world, and encourage you to take action rather than merely sit on the sidelines. Mark 16:15 “ And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”
What can you do to make a difference today?