I once read in 7 Habits of Highly Effective People that it we have a “circle of concern” which encompasses all the things that occupy our attention and, well, concern. This is compared to our “circle of influence” which includes only those things we can do something about. I’ve been thinking about a lot today in my circle of concern more than in my circle of influence, but I’m not as convinced as Stephen Covey that this is a bad thing (side note: Everyone’s heard of Covey, but not Hutchison so I certainly don’t mean to disparage him).
I caught a news clip on this mornings Today show which showed video of a man getting clipped and then clobbered by 2 cars.
What is the most disturbing part of the video isn’t merely that the two drivers don’t stop. More disturbingly, there are bystanders who, well just stand by, and other drivers who do nothing. See the video here.
I’ve been working out a sermon in my head some today, but I’ve been thinking too about what our circle of influence is supposed to be as Christians too. I get caught up by things that are probably outside of my circle of influence. One current example: I’m reading Common Wealth by Jeffery Sachs, which I hope Obama and McCain have read…one or the other is about to be put in a role with a wide circle of influence. According to Covey, I’m constricting my circle of influence by spending energy on things I can’t control. I guess I desire to be aware of the biggest problems our world faces. What will become of this knowledge I can not say, but I am compelled none-the-less.
I also discovered a band I’d heard on the radio, but was otherwise unfamiliar with: the Flobots. You might have heard their song Handlebars?
These guys have a counter-cultural rebellious edge that reminds me a little of Rage. I won’t take a stance on the stylings of their lyrics (in this post anyway) but I will say that I love that they’re taking hip-hop, and using it to fight for something, and using music to influence others to be concerned for something they are concerned about. Props.
If I have an ongoing burden in my heart about what we’re doing with the Church that Jesus left us, its that we are isolated. That we are ineffectual and often uncreative in influencing positive reforms in society.
Here’s to praying and hoping that we as Christians can care deeply about important matters (global and right in front of you guy on the ground who needs help), and position ourselves to influence positive changes, and (as Jesus said) bring heaven to earth.