a couple of thoughts on changing the world

We have said we must be fond of this world, even in order to change it. We now add that we must be fond of another world (real or imaginary) in order to have something to change it to….

As long as the vision of heaven is always changing, the vision of earth will be exactly the same. No ideal will remain long enough to be realized, or even partly realized. The modern young man will never change his environment; for he will always change his mind.

– G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

spiritual pornography

Gratitude and affirmation are in short supply. Sadly, I must admit that I am not only ingratitude’s victim but also its perpetrator. Often I have shrugged off gratitude while embracing discontent. Usually I can justify this in the name of “vision” or “unmet potential”….

How many times have I wished I were somewhere else where God was REALLY moving? how many times have I longed to be in a more beautiful place (with mountains or an ocean) and abandon the urban neighborhood where I live? How many times have I fantasized about the perfect fellowship where everyone got along like a perfect family. What this boils down to is spiritual pornography… creating a mental fantasy of a perfect place or people and not recognizing the good things all around me. This spiritual porn is my nemesis. It’s poison. Thankfully, the antidote is available and accessible: equal parts of gratitude and affirmation.

– Kevin Rains, quoted by Christine Pohl in Living into Community

Walter Wink on intercession

“History belongs to intercessors who believe the future into being. This is not simply a religious statement. It is also true of Communists or capitalists or anarchists. The future belongs to whoever can envision a new and desirable possibility, which faith then fixes upon as inevitable. This is the politics of hope. Hope envisages its future and then acts as if that future is now irresistible, thus helping to create the reality for which it longs. The future is not closed.”

– Walter Wink, Engaging the Powers