The Fight That Can Change History

In Grant City I was given the opportunity to work for a newspaper part time.  My job was to help set copy and every once in a blue moon write an article, or edit someone’s submission for publication.  It was a haven to me, feeding the soul through written word.

I wished they could have hired me full time, as I loved writing and setting copy, and I loved hearing the owners share their own personal stories. I also loved the times when we would discuss our commonalities and differences, whether it be of politics or religion (Conservative vs. Liberal).  

(You’d have to be pretty good friends to discuss the to “no-no” subjects that most workplaces frown upon being spoken during work hours – not to mention social gatherings where if you want to have a pleasant experience, avoid those two topics like the plague.)

Yet the owners and I would tackle these topics with abandon and relished the spirited conversations.

I think we both were enlightened and in turn enlightened each other.  We each had gained new glimpses into opposing views that strengthened our understanding. It helped us to not be so ridged on our mindsets , nor hold them up as highly on a pedestal as we had before. We admitted to weaknesses in the system, owned up to our own false beliefs, and stubbornly clung to others.  In my own head, for those beliefs that I stubbornly clung to,  I hoped that I was not wrong nor blinded to the truth.  I’m sure they did the same.

But they could not pay me more, and my family needed me to work full time. God knew I needed the work that I was given too, for it gave me the chance to meet new friends, and know others better. They made me laugh, and I didn't know how much I would need those sweet memories to under-gird me in dark days ahead.

I needed ALL of these friends – both my newspaper friends and my courthouse friends. Had I stayed so ridged and not thought through the discussions I had at the newspaper, I’m afraid I would not have had the compassion and grace to meet future adversity, nor would I have been able to not be so overwhelmed. The friends who made me laugh helped me to remember my own humanity and the crazy things we think, do, or say to lighten the sometimes heavy burdens laid on us in life.

And here are my thoughts for today on the subject of what it means to be a servant - which fights are worth fighting for - and whether the battles we choose can possibly alter history.


First of all, what does it mean to be a servant? 


We really don't know much about servants in our current day - other than possibly thinking about a waiter or waitress - a server, as is called now. But we are familiar with others servants: Those who serve some kind of public service, whether voted upon or appointed, ones called public servants who are reporters whose job is to seek, observe and report the truth without hyperbole, with focus on the actual subject, and without bias or treating it like an editorial or opinion piece.  (Where is THAT in so much of our t.v. journalism and many newspapers these days?), and those who work in service under a ministry or mission field.

All of these kinds of services can have their moments of enjoyment, but also their moments of pain.Whether a servant in ministry, a seeker of truth in reporting, or a servant to the public - all of these public servants are on the front lines so to speak:

  • The first to get shot at with angry words
  • The first to be told of an “exciting idea that is sure to
    please everybody”
  • The last to be told about a problem, and usually by someone who insists that this is a problem that doesn't bother *them* so much as it does other people, but they felt it their duty to be the one to report said problem.
  • And last but not least, the first to be misunderstood - especially when information must be kept silent because final details have not been hammered out.

    These servants are seen as sneaky, conniving, snobbish, rejecting, hurtful, unconcerned about the needs of others, secretive, or even a betrayer of the public trust.
Why  is this type of silence and shielding from the public eye for a period of time necessary?  Because it's so easy to accidentally start a public uprising when a project, report,  or change-up in ministry will affect so many, if not all. 

If these details are unfinished – it is very likely to cause an uneasy stir in an unsuspecting public, who now sees an unfinished projects as a weakness bent to harm them, as they eye lots of holes and unfinished details. 

In order to understand this a little better, let’s think outside the box a bit. Have you ever seen any home improvement show where a homeowner is freaking out about a remodel as it’s in progress?  A contractor or diy homeowner has to do demolition before he/she can build or rebuild or even restore.  And it’s at this time of demolition that a homeowner usually freaks out: when he/she sees all the holes or problems exposed in the walls or foundation.

The damage is surveyed, and the estimates for repairs and time to repair turned in.  The poor homeowner(s) who were just wanting something a little bit better than what they had before are now hit with the reality of what once was hidden. Until the hidden was uncovered and shown to them, they loved their house and property. But once the unfinished object of their desire lay in shambles, and filled with more holes than fixes – they fall into despair and panic.

The public eye is no different.  It struggles with trusting it’s leadership anyway, when they themselves are not in charge of their own destiny, but must bear the brunt of another’s decision(s) on their behalf.

For these public servants and ministry servants, it is a great responsibility and not one to take lightly - for ALL final decisions and ensuing actions are recorded on a permanent record. 

(Are you aware that each courthouse keeps a record of ALL of its minutes, all the way back to that its inauguration? Most churches do the same. )

Minutes recorded are kept indefinitely - not only to remind people of the public acts now acted that must be recognized by the people, BUT ALSO AS AN ARCHIVE OF HISTORY: 


WHAT WE SAY - WHAT WE PROPOSE  -WHAT WE SECOND IN MOTION, OR VOTE AS A BODY IN AGREEMENT OR DISAGREEMENT ON, NOW HAS *OUR * NAMES ON THOSE VERY DOCUMENTS...


...FOREVER.


The public is always looking for a scapegoat upon which to unleash their ire or even their rage over a decision that either they had no control over - or worse - neglected their own public duty to volunteer in or attend the very meetings that discuss such potential change, invoke the power to vote upon...
... and possibly alter the course of history.


However, that would mean that those who newly attend such meetings have the possibility of having THEIR OWN NAMES RECORDED IN AN UNALTERABLE REPORT that now links THEM *TO* THAT same history.  They have moved from being the ones who question, to the ones who ARE questioned.
To those who dare entertain the possibility of making his or her voice heard, the question is:

 "Is it worth fighting for?"

Before we answer so hastily for ourselves, it would do us well to look upon the faces of those we hold most dear and ask the better question:


"Will I risk my name being recorded in history, so that my loved ones will have a better life as long it is in my power to do all that I can do to see to it?"


The battles that are:
worth the fight...
...worth the risk...
...worth the embarrassment of being wrong...

... are the fights waged in love and selfless devotion.


THAT is a battle that is worth making sure YOUR name is stamped in its history.


Let us press forward then, knowing that God who started the good work in us - ALL of us - will relentlessly pursue His course in completing what HE started (Philippians 1:6), for His plans and purpose WILL prevail (Psalm 33:11) - and HE does not leave ANYTHING, (and I do mean ANYTHING), incomplete.  (Hebrews 7:25)

Is there any reason to not be confident in the road He set out before us? (Hebrews 4:13)

Press on. Let our names be written, for He wrote His name first on Himself (Isaiah 49:16) - etched in our hearts (2 Corinthians 3:3), written in heaven (Revelation 2:17; 13:8), through His blood of His Beloved Son. (Romans 3:25).

He asked Himself who has the power within to save themselves from a fateful destiny, and having found none - He raised His own mighty right arm to save (Isaiah 63:5)...and lifted both arms on a cross - stretched out wide to receive ANY who would come to Him (John 6:36-38) - yet DIED FOR THEM ALL for He was not willing that any should perish, but all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).

With His Life, Death, and Resurrection, He forever alters the course of History, for He could not leave man and woman in a Paradise forever where their bodies would live forever perfect, but their souls dead in their sin, blame, shame, and mortification. (Genesis 3)
And what kind of "Paradise" is that?
Was it worth fighting for something different? (Isaiah 43:4) Could HE look upon HIS loved ones and declare HIS pain was not worth the risk? (John 13:1) (Romans 5:8)

 
Our task - all of us - really is to be a servant to each other - to be brave like Him and follow His example (John 13:13-15) (I Corinthians 11:1) (Philippians 3:17) into our own unknowns. Trusting Him who judges justly the hearts of all men, even as Jesus did in the hands of His father. (1 Peter 2:22-24)

Press on and do not fear. Your Deliverer is near (1 Thessalonians 4:16)(Hebrews 10:37) (James 5:8) (Jude 1;14) (Revelation 1:7) (Revelation 22:7) (Revelation 22:12), and will never forsake you, even to the end of the age. (Psalm 73:23) (Isaiah 41:10) (Isaiah 43:2) (Isaiah 43:5) (Matthew 28:16-20)

 

You do not fight alone. You have a Redeemer and Champion who fights FOR you (Deuteronomy 3:21-22) and WITH you (2 Samuel 22:30) (Psalm 18:19). 

Any fight with Him at your side is surely a battle worth fighting, for what fight would He risk if not to an end to reveal His glory and His love for you? (Isaiah 61)

"Let us not
become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." (Galatians 6:9)

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