After the snow melts an ugly roadside scene emerges. All of the discarded trash and debris tossed from automobile windows and lost from the back of trucks over the winter is exposed on the ground. This litter makes scenic roads, well, less scenic. And until someone stepped up to do something about it, the trash just kept piling up.
In the 1980’s James Evans, an engineer for the Texas Department of Transportation, noticed debris flying out of a pickup truck bed. This sparked an idea. Evans invited locals groups to “adopt” a section of road by paying for it to be cleaned up by the Texas Department of Transportation on a quarterly basis. His initial efforts were unsuccessful. A short while later Billy Black, Public Information Officer for TxDOT’s Tyler District, became involved. He created a quarterly cleanup cycle for adopting organizations, worked to implement the concept, and came up with the idea of erecting “Adopt-a-Highway” roadside signs that recognize the volunteers and organizations who do the clean-up. Black provided volunteer safety training, reflective vests, and equipment. The program took off. Within months, more than 50 groups in the region surrounding Tyler Texas had joined the program. It quickly spread throughout Texas to 49 other states, Puerto Rico, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and Japan. Today there are over 90,000 groups participating in the program.
What would happen if Christians decided to do something about the trash in their context? What if Christians got involved in politics and started supporting Christian values, morals, and ethics? What would happen if Christians stopped complaining about at all the problems in the apartment complex and started helping their neighbors one by one? What would happen if Christians began to care about their neighbors and blessed them? What would happen if more Christians served on the school board and with the PTO? What would happen if more Christians chose to take action instead of take shelter? I believe that everybody would win and society would be a more beautiful place. Christ’s love would be shown, people would find hope, families would be strengthened, and lives would be changed. We would have less suicides, fewer murders, and higher moral standards.
I am convinced that now is the time for Christians to step up and make a difference in their context. In addition to volunteering at Freshwater, serve on a community board, get involved in politics, do something to help clean up the things in our society that are broken. Vote people into public offices that support biblical morals and values. Jesus never tells us to sit on the sidelines, he tells us to get in the game. How are you making a difference? God doesn’t expect you to fix everything wrong in the world, but he does expect you to adopt a piece of it and let the Holy Spirit work through you to clean it up. Together, we make a difference.