If I Could Change The World


A little over two decades ago, guitarist and songwriter Eric Clapton penned what would become a top ten hit, entitled “Change the World.”

The opening stanza of the lyrics went something like this:
If I could reach the stars
I’d pull one down for you
Shine it on my heart
So you could see the truth
That this love I have inside
Is everything it seems
But for now I find
It’s only in my dreams
That I can
Change the world
The song is soft, melodic and catchy.  You find yourself singing it after a few listens.  It’s been years since I heard it but as soon as I played it, I remembered the words.

But it’s the last line of the stanza that catches your attention, isn’t it?
But for now I  find
It’s only in my dreams
That I can
Change the world.
It’s easy to despair that the world can’t change.  It feels most days like we’re going backward instead of forward when it comes to progress.  And just when it seems as though we take a step in the right direction, we take two the wrong way.

The Jesuit mystic and author, Anthony de Mello had a different take on how we the idea of changing the world can move from something that can only be dreamed about to a reality.  He wrote:
Don’t ask the world to change–you change first.  Then you’ll get a good enough look at the world so that you’ll be able to change whatever you think ought to be changed.
Jesus often told his followers that the “kingdom of God is within you.”  He wanted them to know that the change they sought in the world… the peace they desired… the hope they longed for… all of it was within them.  

And while those of us who claim to follow Jesus often give lip service to this idea, I don’t think we internalize it.  We spend our days dreaming of a better world without realizing that the key to the world being better is contained within our very hearts.

When we finally begin to get this, we see differently.  When we make this shift, we are able to look out into the world and see possibilities rather than obstacles.  

It’s then that we can finally see where the world’s greatest needs intersect with our own longings for change and transformation.  

And then our dreams about changing the world can at long last become reality. 

May you discover anew your capacity for transformation, and to embody the kingdom of God to the world.  And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.

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