What if… you received a call from someone in the future asking you to make a difference on their behalf – today? What if … you had a friend, or colleague or family members, who lived across the globe and they needed your help? What if … your children asked you to use your resources, your networks, your influence, to change some aspect of the world so their future looked brighter? Would you?
Today marks the first of seven days leaders from around the world are joining together to do two things.
First we are invited to pray as the United Nations gathers for their Sustainable Development Summit (September 25-27).
Second, we are invited to pick one of the 17 goals from the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and act on it.
According to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon,
“These projections on the sustainable development goals are a beacon to the world carrying an historic message from the United Nations — that the nations of the world are committed to ensuring lives of dignity for all people and a healthy planet for future generations. The global goals provide a unique opportunity to end poverty, reduce inequality, build peaceful societies and fix climate change. All nations and all citizens have a role to play to achieve these global goals.”
Having committed to three Millennium Development goals in 2000, this work extends and expands those goals. And this work doesn’t happen without everyday people, and religious leaders, joining in. And this work starts today!
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon added,
“We hope that the message of the goals will reach everyone on the planet this week.”
Thanks UN leaders for this work. On an ideological level, I’m totally with you. But, honestly, it’s too big for me, too massive for me to make a difference, right?
Wrong. And it all started with a text and a phone call – from me daughter. This mattered to her, so I listened.
Then I went to work and walked around the campus where I teach. And as I did I saw the faces of people from around the world and heard their stories. Stories of struggle and strife. Stories of inequality and poor education. Stories of hope and the desire for leaders who care.
And then these words from Scripture echoed in my head…
“Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?” (Matthew 25:44)
and I was reminded of my call to serve my neighbor, those I can see and those I cannot. These words are both a command and a promise.
And I got to thinking. This work, these global goals need people advocating in Washington AND people packing meals at Feed My Starving Children. Change happens when leaders partner with one another AND educate one woman, one child, one community leader. Communities become sustainable when leaders think about the future, not just the present AND when I commit to sustainable practices in my home.
So today, and in the seven days ahead, will you…