Today is an amazing day; tens of thousands of students around the world are rising up part of the “End It Movement.” They are shining on a light on slavery and the 27 million slaves around the world. That’s awesome! I’m sure you seen pictures and social media posts about it. My issue is that tomorrow most of them won’t care. They believe they are signing up for a movement. But most just bought a hat and found a red marker. Some gave some money at one of the Passion conferences and today they are marking their hand with a red X. For many, when the ink from the X is faded tomorrow, so will be their passion for the cause of the moment.
Bandwagons require a t-shirt, a social media post, and maybe some face paint. Movements require a willingness to die. They require complete abandon to something bigger than you. You can’t buy a pair of TOMS shoes and be a part of a movement. That can be part of what you do, but that is not saving the world. It’s a start, but for many that is end. Sure it’s doing good, but it’s a copout if you stop there.
I am learning this hard lesson from David Allen, “You can do anything, but not everything.” I went to grab a red Sharpie and had to put it down, because tomorrow I am not going to be in it to end it. Sure, I want to see human trafficking come to an end. But there are other things I am very passionate about and I am focusing on those. If you really are in it to end it, awesome. Do it! I will be here cheering you on and supporting you, but from the sidelines. Movements don’t happen on the sidelines.
We think movements are very sexy which makes it easy to jump on the bandwagon. You can buy all kinds of stuff that does some good, but let’s be honest, it just makes you a consumer not a world changer. Movements have to start somewhere, but they don’t end until the job is done. Ask Martin Luther King Jr. about what it cost to be a part of a movement. Who is still concerned about finding Joseph Kony today? Remember him? Jason Russell does; he almost died for his movement.
We all know what bandwagons are, strangely in the last few weeks everyone in my social media feed is now a Seattle Seahawks fan. Seattle fans are even considered the 12th man. But being the 12th man just takes a t shirt and a hat. Heck some of those calling themselves the “12th Man” probably don’t even own a t- shirt! It doesn’t require years of sacrifice. It doesn’t require summers of two a days, hours in the gym, and putting on a helmet and getting hit by 350 pound angry man. I think we are fans of ending slavery, but very few us are going risk our life for it.
Lots of people say they are Pro-Life, but most of them aren’t signing up to serve at the battered women shelter. It’s easy to not eat for 30 hours to bring attention to world hunger, but it’s really hard to find a way to do something more than that about it. For some “End It” is a movement that they are committed to. Others though just jumped in the pool cause the water looked nice and didn’t want to be left out.
My challenge to all of us. Find a movement you are willing to die for and give everything to that. Hop off the bandwagons and get on board with something that you just can’t not do. Something you have to do. I love what Bob Goff says, “There are lots of things we’re able to do, but I’d like to land on the one thing I was MADE to do.” Maybe you were made to start a movement. Do us all a favor though, hop off the bandwagon and actually do something!