Road repairs are an on-going action all over the world. In some of our countries we may wish it were more proactive as we swerve to miss ever increasing pot holes. In other countries the paved roads, gardens and cities are causing problems with flooding as water has nowhere to go.
As we draw to the end of 2011 and begin 2012 the news is flooded with economic, political and environmental disasters. Poverty increases. Yet we find our leaders preferring to continue on the same road, trying to avoid the deepening potholes, even creating some off-roading around obstacles. The direction however remains the same – a stubborn belief that “we” can solve all our problems if only we drive better, fill in the holes quicker, borrow money to build better roads, increase safety on the road. What is not challenged is the direction.
Repairing or rebuilding the road will not help if are heading in the wrong direction. We need to turn around! We need a conversion.
Whether we work in an aid or mission organisation, teach at a college, lead a local church or simply considering our own person lives, we need to ask the question: are we going in the right direction? This “conversion” or turn around is difficult because we may well have been captured by the traffic jam caused by our society’s drive for success, wealth, status and comfort. As Christian leaders we may feel unable to change the momentum or face the hard choices that are required in order to challenge the status quo so we fall back on old reform techniques of boosting morale, management formulae guaranteeing success, training programmes aimed at improving performance – but these costly solutions seem unable to make the breakthroughs we hoped for. Our success indicators so often aligned with numbers and income statistics.
Do we Christians really stand out in the crowd? Do we really live our lives in such away as to demonstrated Kingdom values? I am personally convicted by this question because my answer is no not really. If you, like me long to live out your faith in a radical and real way then together we need to recognise that only a fundamental transformation in the way we think and live will work. We need a conversion!
At the heart of conversion is repentance as we need to honestly face the truth of our conformity to the ways of this world. Conversion means turning around, going in a different direction, making a fresh start, letting go old fallen values and habits and setting our hearts on God.
“The people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. From that time on Jesus began to preach ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.’” (Matthew 4:16-17)
• Will you follow Jesus?
• Will you and your organisation, church or college be the presence of Jesus in the world?
Let us dare to consider honestly what this looks like today, repent where we know we have simply followed the road, turn around and go the way of the Kingdom. Let 2012 be a new beginning!