I have recently been researching how socioeconomic conditions shape and mold people. I live in what is considered Appalachia, which explains why I have interest in some specific resources revealing the daily struggles of my friends and neighbors. Domestic violence, alcoholism, physical and sexual abuse all run rampant in our communities and leave scars that haunt entire lifetimes. This includes drug addiction. Just today I heard of a recent overdose. A promising young man leaving behind a beautiful life and 2 very young children. What blindsides someone to make them become a slave to opiates. How can transformation take place.
There are stories of people persevering their circumstances to become quite successful. It may look like the transition from homeless and fatherless to a supportive spouse and parent. There is a great book by a thirty something socioeconomic survivor, named J. D. Vance. In his book called Hillbilly Elegy, he details events from his crisis filled childhood. While some dialogue in the book may seem brash, it is necessary to give the reader a realistic view of a life submerged in chaos. The author was fortunate to escape the Appalachian demons that plagued him and become a Yale law graduate. My observation is that dysfunction shapes the first 18 years of living only to take a lifetime to resolve to normal. I have recently been researching how socioeconomic conditions shape and mold people. What triggers the incremental changes that lead to a trans-formative journey?
Make Change, Be Change
Change doesn’t happen overnight. It often is the result of intentional actions taking incremental steps toward the unfamiliar. There is a friend that sticks closer than a brother, He will believe in you when no one else will. Even if you are walking in a valley.
“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”
Romans 12:1–2 MSG
In case you’re wondering, my life is far from perfect. This means you and I have a lot in common. Regardless of how we feel, how people view us, or how we view ourselves, there is good news today. That is simply the Alpha and Omega, Jesus Christ. Embrace the scripture above and abide by this prayer daily: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom o know the difference.