I was pondering what to blog about for the day, and this thought hit me: You cannot preserve the status quo and change the world. Some wise person can probably source that and find it came from other than me. I'm okay with that and would give credit if I knew for sure where it came from. I don't but I will gladly acknowledge it could come from elsewhere.
Think about it for a minute: You cannot preserve the status quo and change the world.
If you're Ray Kroc and making a good living selling and servicing Mixmaster Milkshake Machines and walk into the McDonald Brother's Restaurant and see their operation, you can preserve the status quo: you can keep your good job and let them keep theirs.
If you're Truett Cathy and the world is obsessed with hamburgers and your restaurant is across the street from a seven-day a week manufacturing plant, you can preserve the status quo and cook hamburgers 24/7. You can make a good living, turn a profit, and drive nice cars.
If you're John Adams or Paul Revere, you can assume that kings don't give up, because they never have, and decide to keep your heads and fortunes. You can put your sacred honor safely behind preserving the status quo, and not make waves.
If you're William Wilberforce, you can assume that slavery always has been and always will be. You can see defeat by many Parliaments, and see the good that comes in men like John Newton when individuals are saved from enslaving their fellow men. You can safely preserve the economy, preserve the institutions, preserve the status quo and retire into wealthy obscurity.
If you're a kicked-out Pharisee named Saul, you can see the Way you've joined growing safely in the Jewish world. You can see that there's some movement in the rest of the world, and hope and pray that it goes smoothly and calmly. You can preserve the status quo of a division based on heritage and Law, and simply be a tentmaker in Cyprus.
If you're William Carey or Lottie Moon or Jim Elliot or a Moravian, you can look at the comfortable people sitting in church, and pray that they have good days. You can join in teaching them about the Bible and pray that God's light will shine among “the heathen.” You can preserve the status quo, go about your life, and share the Gospel with your neighbors.
You can decide to copy a great idea (with appropriate credit), and build a host of restaurants all over the place, where good quality food and friendly service makes job opportunities and wealth for you and many others. (Of course, it doesn't always work that way.)
You can decide to slap a piece of chicken on a bun instead of a slab of hamburger meat. You can close down Saturday night and open up Monday morning and focus on what is truly important to you. In the process, you can find enough income to build foster homes, give employees over $17 million in college scholarships, and still drive pretty cool cars. Oh, and how many fast-food restaurants serve chicken now? How many mall food courts are there?
You can decide that the king is not all he thinks he is and rebel. In time, your efforts for liberty lead to emancipation, women's rights, and a host of other ideas of freedom that no one imagined. An economy that could put man on the moon and, at one time, provide employment to nearly all. An economy and standard of living that astounds the world, where the ones who are poor and struggling here have things the wealthy dream of elsewhere.
You can decide that the world may have always had slaves but that it should not always have them. You can determine that the moral dimension is at least as important as the economic dimension and give your life to fighting for others to have the rights you do. You can wear yourself out fighting for “now” instead of “gradually” and die, just barely knowing the change that you have made.
You can decide that the world must hear of what you know. You can decide that even a great one such as Peter can be confronted and corrected. You can give your life traveling to places you've never seen to show the love of God to people who have never heard it. You can plan on places like Rome and Spain and the extremes of the Empire and see to it that it happens.
You can decide that comfort means nothing if the world is perishing. You can decide that what you have always known, what you have always done, is not going to be enough. You can sacrifice, pray, give, go, and do, you can live out what is most precious to you and give it your last breath.
You cannot preserve the status quo and change the world. So choose. Because you're going to do one or the other. Choose.