Friday, January 24, 2014

Everybody Wants To Rule The World

Let me put it out there for all to read: I want to change the world! But then, everybody wants to change the world. In fact, in the words of "Tears For Fears," "everybody wants to rule the world." In my natural self, I want a world that works for me. In this perspective, world peace is good because it means that my family is, my friends are, my country is, and I am, safe. Yet, in my better self, in my redeemed self, I want to change the world, not rule it. I want the world to become the world that God wants it to become. This perspective is less about me; in fact, sometimes it means that changes to the world may affect me adversely. This naturally brings us to questions about mechanisms for changing the world and our motivations for changing the world. The astute reader will have already picked up on my stated motivation: "I want the world to become the world that God wants it to become." Of course, even as I state this, I am aware of the challenge to interpret this, and then live this. What if we started small? What if we started near?
When I was young, I set out to change the world. When I grew a little older, I perceived this was too ambitious, so I set out to change my state. This too I realized was too ambitious, so I set out to change my town. When I realized I could not even do this, I tried to change my family. Now as an old man I know that I should have started by changing myself. If I had started with myself, maybe then I would have succeeded in changing my family, the town, or even the state - and who knows maybe even the world. - Hassidic rabbi on his deathbed.1
I am neither particularly young, nor am I particularly old, and I am definitely not on my deathbed; but, the words of this rabbi resonate with my soul. Changing the world begins with changing me! If I want a world that looks like God's design, then my life must look like God's design. I am not talking about some legalistic, checking over my shoulder to see if I am on "God's good boy list." Becoming the person God wants me to be will be about enjoying and stewarding all that this world has to offer: my wife, my daughters, my grandchildren, the mountains, the seas . . . . Change can then radiate outwardly from me. Hmmm, what will this look like in my life? What will it look like in yours?
Everybody Wants To Rule The World 
(Words and music by Roland Orzabal, Ian Stanley, Chris Hughes) (Listen here
Welcome to your life
There's no turning back
Even while we sleep
We will find you 
Acting on your best behaviour
Turn your back on mother nature
Everybody wants to rule the world 
It's my own design
It's my own remorse
Help me to decide
Help me make the most 
Of freedom and of pleasure
Nothing ever lasts forever
Everybody wants to rule the world 
There's a room where the light won't find you
Holding hands while the walls come tumbling down
When they do I'll be right behind you 
So glad we've almost made it
So sad they had to fade it
Everybody wants to rule the world 
I can't stand this indecision
Paired with a lack of vision
Everybody wants to rule the world 
Say that you'll never never never never need it
One headline why believe it ?
Everybody wants to rule the world 
All for freedom and for pleasure
Nothing ever lasts forever
Everybody wants to rule the world 


1 (Scazzero, Daily Office: Remembering God's Presence Throughout The Day 2008, 56)

Works Cited:
Scazzero, Peter. Daily Office: Remembering God's Presence Throughout The Day. Barrington: Willow Creek Resources, 2008.

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