Standing on the Metro platform at Union Station in Washington, D.C., with a lump rising in my throat, I watched the train roll away into the tunnel knowing it carried my phone, credit cards and identification.
For the next 10 minutes, I imagined myself stuck in the nation’s capital, living on the streets with no way of communicating with others, no way to purchase food and no way to prove my identity.
While all of these thoughts were preposterous, amid chaotic loss, the preposterous can seem possible.
Thankfully, I was able to gain my composure, remembering I still had my passport in my briefcase, I could withdraw cash from my bank, and my phone could be replaced by simply filing an insurance claim.
However, the incident left me thinking about moments in my life when I let opportunity slip away.
Moments when I stood on life’s platform wishing I had remembered, fretting about the outcomes of my inactions and knowing one simple misstep can change the trajectory of the future.
In Matthew 25, Jesus tells the parable of the talents in which a master gives his slaves money to invest. While most of the slaves invest wisely, producing a nice profit for the master, one of the slaves decided to bury his coin. Fearing harsh retaliation if he lost money, the slave rationalized that no return was much better than any loss.
The parable is a stark reminder that we must not let opportunities slip away when given the chance to act.
We must plant spiritual seeds that benefit the common good. We must seize moments to invest in social capital.
We have to move swiftly when we hear and see injustices. We need to jump at the opportunity to spread light when darkness attempts to overcome.
For too long, the church has stood on the platform watching the train leave the station. While there have been moments when good faith people jumped aboard – during the days of suffrage, civil rights and poor people’s campaigns – the vast majority of the church stood on the platform waving goodbye.
Therefore, it is exciting to witness an emerging generation of Christians taking the baton from previous generations to plant spiritual seeds for inclusion and justice.
With defiant fists raised to the sky, younger Christians of color are demanding racial justice and an end to systemic racism. The time to honestly and thoroughly address issues centering around race in this world is now.
Others are tackling the dangerous perils of climate change, reminding people of faith that we are earth’s caretakers as ordained by the Creator. As part of a living ecosystem, we must do better to lower carbon emissions and bring global temperatures down.
Faith practicing LGBTQIA+ individuals are extending grace to communities who rejected them in the past. Now, together, they stand up for full inclusion and equality in both spiritual and civic realms. Love will win!
Entrepreneurial believers are creating new and productive ways to deal with catastrophic income inequalities. Through microloans and innovative financing, the faithful are empowering exciting ideas, turning dreams of lower-income people into profitable realities.
Churches coming to the end of their ministries are liquidating hard assets in order to reinvest in legacy projects. Church buildings are being repurposed for community centers, public schools and low-income housing.
People of good faith are changing the world through compassion, innovation and generosity.
We can’t afford to stand on the platform, watching the opportunity for global transformation leave the station. We must get on board. We must ride the divine tracks toward love, inclusion and justice.
CEO of Good Faith Media.