The news this morning is particularly ugly — bombings, natural disasters, refugee crises, government corruption, nasty presidential primary politics, armed conflict in every corner. I am reminded of a post I wrote for this blog in 2013 which I am re-posting as encouragement, for me and for all of you.
Today on the NPR program Morning Edition, historian Charles Emerson was discussing his new book 1913. He made a comment that literally stopped me in my tracks to reach for a pen and paper: “Make the history you want to live in.”
Making the history I want to live in propels me from hand-wringing and complaining to proactive involvement. My history is my grandchildren’s present. What kind of legacy do I want to leave? How do I step into the fight against the raping of the planet I live on, the violation of human beings though sex trafficking and slavery, the deaths of millions of young children because of unequal distribution of wealth. . . .the list goes on and on.
Making the history I want to live in also is a prod to never give up on difficult relation- ships. Do I really want to consign a friendship or a partnership or a dysfunctional family or a church community to history without doing what I can to make it a healthy relationship?
And finally, what do I want my personal history to look like? Am I willing to take on Dallas Willard’s challenge for transformation, VIM (vision, intention and means)? Or will I lazily walk through my future with no thought about the history it will become? What is my vision for my relationship with God? What is my vision for how I will become more like Jesus? Am I willing to be intentional about my personal transformation and thus my family’s transformation, my church’s transformation, my neighborhood’s transformation, my country’s transformation, the world’s transformation? And what are the means (methods, strategies, plans) I can intentionally choose to make that happen? This is fodder for the journey that every committed Christ-follower is on.
What if each of us took a step every day to “make the history we want to live in?”