What If It’s Not About Changing the World?

Adventures staff and Race Alum Reid Mason spent 3 months in Greece in early 2016, serving at Refugee Camps. In the face of hard situations and suffering, he asked God a lot of questions. Now, as the Adventures Disaster Relief Manager, he has a new perspective on what it means to change the world.

What if it’s not about changing the world?  

When I think about changing the world, and the magnitude of the work we do at Adventures, sometimes I tend to freeze. That kind of challenge is thrilling or inspiring to some, but to me it can be overwhelming.

The problems of the world are so great. How do we combat all of the poverty, hate, evil, and greed in this world? What will it take to make real and lasting peace in Syria? What will it take for every refugee to find a home? What needs to happen for every hungry orphan to find forever families and full bellies? What will it take to free all of the sex slaves in the world? What about the homeless person begging at the stoplight—what would it take to completely change their world?

I feel inadequate, and not in a “I-need-more-training” sort of way. I feel inadequate in an “I-face-an-impossible-task” sort of way. 

And so I’d rather not try. I’d rather help up to a point, and then choreograph a first-class PR campaign to fashion an exaggerated reality how I am “changing the world”. All I’m really doing is seeking an unhealthy stagnation of working just hard enough to not have to work anymore. 
But what if it’s not about changing the world? 
What if it’s not about making the world a better place?
What if it’s about making a world of better people? 
What if it’s not about creating a high-octane global campaign strategy, but instead it’s about building authentic relationships with individual people who need practical, distinct, and relevant truth?
Actually, I think that’s what Jesus did. He came in the lowliest of ways—born as a baby in a manger, living as a human even though He was God, and then dying a criminal’s death on a cross—all so He could bring freedom and establish His Kingdom one relationship at a time. 
Changing the world does not start with changing the life of one person. It is changing the life of one person. Changing the world looks like changing one person from broken to healed, drowning to uplifted, fearful to faithful.
Changing the world will always be a “what if” if we forget we are made to love individual, typical people. That is how the gigantic ideal of changing the world transforms into something I can do today.
Is there a global problem you want gone? Find one person and change their day. Do you want to start a non-profit to solve a crisis? Sit with someone and love them recklessly.
Because if you don’t do the latter, you will never do the former—and eventually, you’ll change the world without even knowing it.

But, again, what if it’s not about changing the world? What if it’s about something even bigger?

Go, love people.

“But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? – 1 John 3:17

*First photo by Ben Towne; Third by Anna Kate Auten.

What would it look like for you to change the world one person at a time?

In 2017, you could do just that. CLICK HERE to find out how you could share the love of Jesus in the Caribbean, Central and South America, Europe, Africa, Southeast Asia, and even within the United States!