“I thought you wanted to save the world. What happened?”

Recently at a family CNY reunion, one of my relatives was asking what I was up to. I told him that I was studying in a Bible college. He then asked me, “I thought you wanted to save the world. What happened?”

Previously, I was doing a PhD in environmental life sciences and I had all these big dreams of being a cutting-edge researcher, discovering a drug to cure cancer, or a drug that could be next new antibiotic, or find the gene that causes killer disease X. Yeah, and dreams of joining or founding a new start-up/social enterprise that could solve the world’s problems of water shortage, or food shortage, or poverty, etc.

Yeah, what happened? Here are some of my thoughts:


1. There is only one Savior of the world and it’s not me!

John 3:17 “For God did not send his Son [Jesus Christ] into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”

1 Tim 1:15 “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.”

2. I’m still on mission to save this world ! 

We’re tasked to carry out God’s task of making disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey all that Christ has commanded us. We’re to be his witnesses to the ends of the earth.

We eagerly await the reality of the coming kingdom of God, as seen in Rev 21:1-4

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

3. Changing the world starts with changing myself. 

Here is a poem that I came across a long time ago.

An Epitaph
Written by an Unknown Monk 1100 A.D.

When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world.

I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my nation.

When I found I couldn’t change the nation, I began to focus on my town.

I couldn’t change the town, so I tried to change my family.

Now, as an old man, I know the only thing I can change is myself.

And suddenly I realize that if long ago I had changed myself, I could have made an impact on my family.

My family and I could have made an impact on our town.

Their impact could have changed the nation and I could indeed have changed the world.

Who knows? We may still save the world! Let’s do it.


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