Get Up and Make a Difference

What are you going to be when you grow up? Does it frustrate the living daylights out of you that you are still asking that question, or is it only me?

I have nothing to complain about. My life has been, and is, rich and full. Still, I am restless.

  • I’ve worked for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights for 34 years, and we have made astounding progress in that time. Still, I am deeply afraid that my community will settle just short of the promised land, or that, at the very least, we will celebrate our victories and forget our sisters and brothers in Uganda, Nigeria, and Egypt. I get so worried, I feel like I need to spend my days working to end discrimination.
  • I’ve preached about Jesus’ bias toward the poor and marginalized for 40 years, but can’t seem to get people who have insurance to fight for people who don’t. The Governor of Georgia won’t expand Medicaid, so the working poor will suffer and perhaps die. It makes me so mad, I want to quit my job and fight injustice full time.
  • Every day I read about a church that is dying, and there is NO REASON for it to. People are desperate for the inclusion, transformation, healing, and meaning that the church can provide. I look at churches looking for pastors and suddenly I’m singing “I Can Do That” from “A Chorus Line.”
  • The Virginia-Highland Church had nearly 300 people in worship on Easter Sunday. It is a church that knows resurrection firsthand. It really needs a full-time pastor, but I already have another full-time job.
  • I teach a class on church renewal, and a year later the church is booming and sends me a thank you note. There is nothing I would rather do with my life than help the main-line church find new life in the 21st century.

There are only so many hours in a day, but there is so much that I want to do to fill those hours. I’m obsessed with making a difference, and my struggle is to find out how best to do that.

When my daughters struggle to figure out what to do in college, I can sympathize completely. All can say to them is what I say to myself every day: Get up and make a difference; there are a thousand ways to make the world a better place. Making money is one of the weakest.

by Michael Piazza
Center for Progressive Renewal


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