I was intrigued the other day to find that Brian McLaren is apparently an "informal adviser" to Barack Obama. Since leaving his church, Obama may have needed a more relaxed and tolerant religious influence, thus McLaren is definitely a perfect fit for him. Here's what McLaren said recently concerning the Obama campaign:
"I think there's a very, very sizable percentage -- I think between a third and half -- of evangelicals, especially younger [evangelicals], who are very open to somebody with a new vision," McLaren said.
A friend of mine recently told me that he feels that just like right-wing conservatives have had knee-jerk reactions in the past on certain liberal issues, there is now a similar knee-jerk reaction among the younger generation going the other way. There's a big rush to usher in a new era of social justice and tolerance that's resulting in a mad scramble to raise the Obama flag and begin the redeeming of this country from it's narrow-minded, intolerant mindset. However, all of this prompts one glaring question in my mind:
What are you waiting for?
It seems that some have forgotten the very principles that define social justice, tolerance, and compassion. Why do we think a new president, new programs, and some new renewed sense of justice will change things when November rolls around instead of making the change in ourselves right now?
Look, this isn't some anti-Obama statement, it's just me pointing out the reality that you and I have the resources to begin impacting our communities (and the world) more than any president ever will. We each know people personally, have connections, and are in positions to begin bringing about social justice right now in our own towns and cities.
Find the homeless shelters in your area, donate your clothes, volunteer at a soup kitchen, encourage the brokenhearted, give someone a ride or help change a flat tire, promote racial harmony, and encourage everyone you know to do the same (need I go on?).
After Jesus' resurrection, why did he ascend to heaven and leave his people behind to carry on his work? Hadn't they all proved that they were capable of failure and falling short of the mark? The fact is, he knew that he had provided what they needed and would continue to do so. We've been given the best example of justice, mercy, and compassion we could ever ask for! So instead of waiting for someone to get into office and change things, let's change our hearts and start living out what we've been called to.
If you want to vote for Obama in November, more power to you - I myself am not voting. But whatever you do, don't wait for someone else to bring change, start making the change yourself and invite others to join you. Perhaps we can make a bigger difference in this world than any politician ever could.