“If you want to change the world, be willing to let the world inconvenience you.” — Unknown.
The phone rang again, 3 a.m. just as it had night after night for what seemed like months. I would grudgingly say hello all while trying to sound loving and understanding. My friend was going through a terrible season, and I wanted to be there for her but was also irritated she kept calling rather than making a change. I was a bit torn on how to even respond anymore, but something inside of me told me to keep answering the phone, keep speaking life into her, even if it was every night for the rest of my life. Even if I had to be inconvenienced by these middle-of-the-night calls for all eternity, because someday one of those conversations might change her world.
When I found this quote sitting in my notes folder on my phone, I fell in love. I wish I knew who it came from, and I usually jot that down, but not this time apparently. Hey, I’m willing to take credit for it if you’d like, but am I right? What a truth bomb!
I would dare say most of us dream of being world changers, impacting people for good and for God but more often than not, we stand in our own way to becoming impactful because we don’t want to be inconvenienced by the world we long to change. Or to take it a step farther, we don’t want to let God inconvenience us with his assignments. We’d rather do our own thing.
Maybe you sense the stock lady at Walmart is having a pretty rough day and you think you should pray for her, but then realize you’re already running behind and there is just no time. You’ll pray for her while you finish shopping. Perhaps you too have your fair share of late-night calls coming through by a friend in a rough season. Will you answer? Will you speak life? Or maybe you pass the same single momma day after day, struggling to make ends meet and you’ve been equipped to help her, but there’s just not enough time in your day to encourage her and slip her a $20 bill. Friends, you can dream of changing the world all day long, but until you allow the world to inconvenience you, it will stay a dream.
Jesus understood this and left behind beautiful examples all through the pages of scripture.
“Now Jesus began to go all over Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.” — Matthew 4:23
One of my favorite examples of this is found in John 4, the woman at the well. Verse 4 tells us Jesus had to go through Samaria, but that’s not entirely true. There was a way around Samaria Jews generally took to bypass Samaria, so why does it say he had to go through? I believe it was because his father had an assignment for him, a woman at a well. She was in desperate need of life, love and freedom and Jesus possessed all of those things, so he accepted the inconvenience of Samaria and met her at the well that day.
You may never grasp the power you possess to change someone's world, but it doesn’t change the fact that you own it. God has made his power available to us, but we have to put it to use in our life. God has gifted you with money, creativity, success, speaking, writing, leading, cleaning, cooking, you name it; not only to bless you but to bless others, to bring his light to those around us and change their world. So what do you say? May we allow the world to inconvenience us in a way to change it?
“And let us not grow weary of doing good.” — Galatians 6:9a
Downs serves as a young adult/college leader at her church with her husband. She writes faith-based columns in southern Missouri newspapers.