The Hope For Change is Real; But We Must Act Now!
Easter weekend is here and many churches and houses of worship will likely experience a drastic increase in attendance. Some may be recommitting their lives to Christ, showing off their “Easter Outfit” or even taking the kids to participate in an Easter egg hunt. Whatever the reason, I look forward to this weekend and embrace the opportunity to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Our country continues to go through trying times related to guns, crime, political chaos, a drug epidemic, police brutality and much more. It is with gratitude and great joy that I reflect on the wonderful experiences and people I’ve had the pleasure to interact with over the years. I don’t believe this has anything to do with luck or smarts. Instead, I have personalized these experiences and remind myself that it is written: “Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far”? (2 Sam 7:18). I’ve been blessed to have been under His wings of protection for years and for that I’m thankful.
Our community continues to struggle when it comes to education, fair treatment from law enforcement, employment opportunities and much more. A January 2015 Brookings report highlight these points when it points out that we continue to struggle in the area of poverty, lack of wealth and families being headed by single parents. I remain hopeful and thankful that these trends will not continue. The recent shooting of a young unarmed black man in California, verdicts that don’t seem fair when it comes to police brutality, sexual misconduct, abuse and cover-ups when it comes to people in powerful positions are some examples of the challenges we continue to face. The fight for justice, protests and the “conversations” must continue. Our complaints and protests continue while those in power continue to hire their friends and families whether qualified or not, abuse government and private assets and basically use our political and legal systems to shield themselves from accountability and in some cases; prosecution.
It is written “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect (Rom 12:2-ESV). If high school students can work with adults to organize such an impactful event as March for Our Lives, there is nothing we can’t do to have the same or even greater impact on our communities. We often think it requires a celebrity, sports star, entertainer or politician to affect change; how has that worked out so far? I firmly believe that as we focus more on developing young people of character and integrity who are willing to work and serve, we will then start to see the positive changes we expect in our society. It starts with the family. We want peace, prosperity, good education, good jobs, etc. but must also have the “conversation” about curtailing having children out of wedlock, lack of educational preparedness, lack of financial literacy, and more.
Many of these issues are deep-rooted and will require years of work. A good start, in my opinion, is to give God thanks for His word by using it as our standard for living. We often change our position and values based on what’s popular at the time. We could also limit the amount of time spent on the very social platform you're reading this post on and commit to spending more time in other areas that will have a more direct impact on our lives. Stronger families will lead to us being the driving force for our children becoming police officers, district attorneys, majors, county clerks, physicians, educators, business owners (who employ others), etc. We cannot continue to expect change within our communities when we’re not willing to fill those positions from within. This will require education, training, money, faith and hope. How are those “powerful conferences” that we’re attending affecting change within our communities?
So as we celebrate Jesus this weekend, I encourage you to be thankful for today and look forward to tomorrow with anticipation for our communities to rise. This weekend can be a used as a springboard to mending or developing special relationships, showing gratitude, humility and giving thanks through acts of kindness, service or financial giving. Despite the challenges we face on the legal, political, academic and personal fronts, I remind myself to rejoice in hope, to be patient in tribulation and constant in prayer (Rom 12:12). Don’t allow the noise in Washington, your community, job, home or anywhere else to steal your joy. It is written that “…..Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning (Ps 30:5). For more information on being thankful as well as other life lessons, visit me at markogittens.com or via my book “Step Into Your Glorious Future”. Happy Easter!