A world of problems, and some solutions too

The world we live in is a broken place. This shouldn't come as a surprise to any of you who see what's going on around you. The media will have you believe that oftentimes things are worse than they really are while others are convinced that our problems are made up and fueled by paranoia and laziness.

But make no mistake about it, we have problems. Here in America, technology has allowed each and every voice to be heard for better or for worse. And when people are angry or feel disenfranchised or simply want to cause a stir, then it's hard to ignore their digital voices. 

There are those who are oppressed and are victims. It's more than just a shame that the color of your skin will cause a whole segment of society to cast judgment upon you. Whites judge blacks, blacks judge whites, and every color of the rainbow in between either has an opinion or is subject to one. No one is innocent of these things.

Make no mistake, sin is the biggest problem that we have in our world, this desire to be our own gods instead of obeying the Creator who made our lives possible. Not everybody believes this or even acknowledges that there is such a thing as sin, but this usually changes when they find themselves the recipients of crime or violence or persecution. These ills that we witness almost nightly from our television and computer and phone screens? They are nothing less than the byproducts of an epidemic of sin.

What are supposed to do with all of this? We can watch the news shows and shake our heads in disgust at what we see, quickly blaming one side or the other. Or we can boycott a sporting event because an athlete has enraged us by what we see as disrespectful or unpatriotic. Maybe we can join the ranks of those who respond to any transgression, perceived or real, with an activism that can quickly lead to senseless violence. Or perhaps what we need to do is gather closer to "our own" so that we can live out the rest of our days unstained and unchallenged by all of the madness that seeks to personally destroy the world that we have created for ourselves. These are all available options, yet none of them really seems to satisfy or offer a suitable solution, do they?

I will always come to the same conclusion for the world's problems - Jesus. Yes, it's really that simple. He came to die to deliver us from this mess that we've created, the one we keep trying to fix and manipulate and legislate into being the impossible utopia we want it to be. Don't get me wrong - I love this country and this planet and I thoroughly enjoy the life that I am blessed to live on it. But I also know that my roll on earth is not to fix what it broken, but rather to offer guidance and healing because of the One who healed and saved me.

In the meantime, the faith that I live out has certain responsibilities that go along with it that apply to any man or woman, regardless of their level of faith or lack thereof. When it is all said and done, what you choose to do, believe, think, or say does matter. Think about some of these questions that all of us should ask ourselves:

• Do I take personal responsibility for my life and my actions or do I choose to point the finger of blame at others first?
• Do I really care about others or do I only want things to go my way to protect my interests?
• When I see tragedy and senseless violence in the world, do I say to myself, "I'm glad that's not me! / Look at those bunch of animals!" or do I genuinely want to see people and situations get better?
• Do I truly see others as created equal or do I (secretly) give more weight and value to certain people groups over others?
• Am I brining enough to the table to see situations and people change or have I thrown my hands up in despair assuming that there is nothing that I can do?
• Am I part of the problem or part of the solution?

Underwear is meant to be comfortable. Life, not so much.

I am serving as camp pastor at a placed called Laurel Ridge in the NC moutains this week, so today I decided to go hiking on some trails in ...