I Can Change The World?

And I can change the world 

 I will be the sunlight in your universe 

 You would think my love was really something good 

 Baby if I could change the world”  -Eric Clapton Change The World 

As humans, we cannot, on our own, change the world. Late summer, after God took someone close to me home as a result of past drug abuse, I decided to join a cause to fight the drug abuse epidemic. Since then, I’ve tried to help people who are trapped by the voluntary slavery of drug addiction. I talked with them, but they didn’t follow through with the help I offered.   

People have told me “Jeff, you can’t change the world.”  That’s true. I get bummed out when I can’t help people change their destructive behavior.  I wish I could stop the insanity, which is reflected in the words of beat poet Allen Ginsberg in the beginning of Howl: “I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix, angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night,…”    

With the addicts I’ve interacted with, I was successful in that I did what I could to rightly minister to them. Anything else is God’s role, not mine.  One thing I learned in a 12 Steps program is that one cannot fix people. Life doesn’t work that way. 

Today as I continued to go through The Life Recovery Devotional, I was reminded, admonished that I cannot change the world. Ultimately, that’s God’s job. Christians are just an instrument of God, his ambassadors. The devotional is on Step One: “We admitted that we were powerless over our dependencies and that our lives had become unmanageable.”    

Although we are not responsible for results, we must reach out and serve others, including drug addicts. I agree with Os Guiness, who said that Christian faith should not be “privately engaging but socially irrelevant.” This is why faith-based groups, such as Conquering Life Prison and Recovery Ministries (CLPRM) do what they do.  http://www.clprm.org/ 

The Life Recovery Bible, devotional and workbook doesn’t just address drug and alcohol problems. It also helps people overcome compulsive behaviors, other hurts, bad habits and hang ups, the root of which is sin. The Bible has a solution for any human problem that is not physiological.  

The much publicized opioid crisis is ultimately a spiritual epidemic, and the answer is found with God and His ambassadors. 

“15 Whatever is has already been, 

    and what will be has been before; 

    and God will call the past to account.

16 And I saw something else under the sun: 

In the place of judgment—wickedness was there,
    in the place of justice—wickedness was there. 

17 I said to myself, 

“God will bring into judgment
    both the righteous and the wicked,
for there will be a time for every activity,
    a time to judge every deed.” 

18 I also said to myself, “As for humans, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals. 19 Surely the fate of human beings is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath[b]; humans have no advantage over animals. Everything is meaningless. 20 All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. 21 Who knows if the human spirit rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?” 

22 So I saw that there is nothing better for a person than to enjoy their work, because that is their lot. For who can bring them to see what will happen after them? 

Oppression, Toil, Friendlessness 

4 Again I looked and saw all the oppression that was taking place under the sun: 

I saw the tears of the oppressed—
    and they have no comforter;
power was on the side of their oppressors—
    and they have no comforter.
2 And I declared that the dead,
    who had already died,
are happier than the living,
    who are still alive.
3 But better than both
    is the one who has never been born,
who has not seen the evil
    that is done under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 3:15 – 4:3 

What About the Dangers of Smoking?

https://youtu.be/NWm6PUGpfVU 

The Johnny Smoke anti-smoking PSA played on TV during the 60s has been upstaged by the Opioid Crisis. The old folk song asks “Where have all the flowers gone?” I ask, where have all the anti-smoking public service announcements gone? Except for ads selling stop smoking products, there are no such efforts to alert people about the dangers of smoking. 

“We need to figure this out,” declares all the kings horses and all the king’s men in addressing the State Opioid Crisis, led by Pennsylvania governor Big Bad Wolf, in an attempt to put broken people back together again. 

levittownnow.com/2018/01/10/state-opioid-crisis-disaster-declaration-we-need-to-figure-this-out/ 

Although the poison from legal cigarettes acts more slowly than that of illegal drugs, it is still a destructive force in society. In the early 70s, my physical education/health instructor in college told us he’d like to go down south and burn down all the tobacco fields. “Don’t tell your parents I’m really going to do this,”, he said and explained he was just trying to make a point about how dangerous smoking is to your health. Early December, 2017, I lost someone very dear to me as a result of smoking. 

Like illegal drugs, which have additives such as fentanyl and morphine, cigarettes also have toxic additives. The government evidently does not have a problem with cigarette additives, which make cancer sticks more addictive. Jesus said that the love of money is the root of evil. Allegedly to curb smoking, the government jacked up taxes on cigarettes. The tobacco industry, and its partner in crime the government, are no better than drug pushers, whom they say they want to push out. More tax money in the government coffers!  https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/health_effects/effects_cig_smoking/index.htm 

Although not to the extent as the case with street drugs, cigarette smoking burns a hole through people’s pockets, including those who don’t have much money. In the homeless community in Bucks County, PA, some people would put smokes before food. Talk about idolatry!  

And by incessantly declaring that drug addiction is a disease, the government and its cohorts keep their tax payer funded jobs and clinics in business. Everything in modern thinking today is a disorder – substance abuse disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (psychobabble for perfectionism) – ad infinitum, ad nauseam.  

I’ve met alcoholics and drug addicts who have overcome their addiction but cannot kick cigarettes!  

Like illegal drugs, cigarette smoking has become a god of this age. Johnny Smoke is an evangelist for the apostate church “Sister Nicotine and The Holy Smokes.” And of course, like liberal churches, which adds to scripture, the tobacco industry adds junk to tobacco.  

The first line in Allen Ginsburg’s Beat poem, Howl, in essence a huge run on sentence, captures this age: “I see the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness…”