Change First

Terry Walton


I Was Thinking…

Several years ago Sharon and I had the opportunity to travel to London, England.  My brother was stationed just outside of London while serving in the United States Air Force.  While visiting with he and his family we visited several sights one being Westminster Abbey.  The following words were found inscribed on the tomb of an Anglican Bishop buried there:

“When I was young and free and my imagination had no limits, I dreamed of changing the world.  As I grew older and wiser, I discovered the world would not change.  So I shortened my sights somewhat and decided to change my country.  But it too seemed immovable.  As I grew into my twilight years, in one last desperate attempt, I settled for changing my family, those closest to me, but, alas, they would have none of it.

And now, as I lie on my deathbed, I suddenly realize: IF I HAD CHANGED MYSELF FIRST, then by example I would have changed my family.  And from their inspiration and encouragement, I would have been able to better my country and, who knows, I may have even bettered the world.”

It caused me a moment’s pause as I stood beside this grave.  When I reach the end of my life’s journey, what will I wish I had done?  It was Mark Twain who once wrote “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.  So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from safe harbor.  Catch the trade winds in your sail.  Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Having just returned from Israel and walking the footsteps of our faith forbearers, it reminded me of the change that first took place in them before they were used by God to be change-agents for the world.  Twelve ordinary Disciples were changed and then, with the power of God, turned this world right side up.  You and I are now the Disciples.  Where do we need changing so that God can better use us?

Always Thinking…



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