Whew! We Don’t Have to Save the World!

Dear Reader:

Haven’t we all known people in our lives who seem to have not gotten the message that they, themselves, don’t have to save the world?

I remember grandmother shaking her head when a certain woman would arrive from the little country church they attended to stop by and read scripture or drop off some cornbread or  say a prayer over uncertain events in the upcoming week. Then she would dash off “to save the rest of the world” before collapsing, surely, in her own bed by nightfall. It must have been exhausting the save the world daily all by herself.

Grandmother would mutter under her breath as she waved good-bye to the ‘lady from the church’ that someone somewhere along the way, perhaps even a preacher, forgot to tell “Miss So and So” that she, alone, didn’t have to save the world!” Then Grandmother would start laughing and just shaking her head…apparently the hardest part of “Miss Do-Gooder’s” visit was keeping a straight face.

Today children’s imagination about someone powerful enough to save the world originates back to 1938 when Superman first made his appearance on the scene. If you think about it…these were the scary years preceding World War II and the very real threat of world dominance by Hitler and Germany. We needed a tangible superhero who could bring hope through stories of heroism beyond mere human capacity.

Superman was so popular that other superheroes flooded the market, following in suit (literally) and soon children all over the world wanted to imitate and dress up like their caped crusaders. After all who doesn’t want to “save the world?

Quinn Caldwell, popular author, preacher, and theologian adds his own unique tongue-in-cheek observation to the often mis-interpreted passage of scripture.

“If you’re like the rest of us, you will do (or have already done) the resolution thing for 2020. A couple I know spends every January 1st doing what they call “Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise.” Together, they make one commitment that will help them be healthier, one that will help them to use their wealth in better and more faithful ways, and one that will educate them or otherwise improve their wisdom. It is a worthy way to spend the day.

Resolving to do things that will improve our lives and improve the world is certainly a good practice. But before you do it this year, allow me to make a suggestion. Take a few minutes and read through all of John’s vision in chapters 21 and 22 of the Book of Revelation. Take time to imagine what the world will be like when this vision is fulfilled. Imagine what it will look like, what it will taste like, how you will feel. Bask in the goodness.

And then just before you begin resoluting, remind yourself of this very important point: It is not your job to save the whole world; Somebody Else has already made that resolution, and that particular Somebody is guaranteed to keep it. “


So until tomorrow…

“Lord, I thank you that you are God and I am not. Help me to trust that you are saving the world even as we speak, and give me the grace and the resolve to recognize and play my small, unique part in it. Amen.”

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

*Mollie just sent me the latest “Eloise” Swinger photo! I love you Eloise! Boo Boo


About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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2 Responses to Whew! We Don’t Have to Save the World!

  1. Rachel Edwards says:

    Little Eloise is growing up too fast. She looks a lot like Molly and the boys look like Walsh. My Mother had a cute story about a lady who said something to her at cburch the day after sbe married my father on Christmas Day. It was a simple ceremony with only a few people there…as was the case in that time period …late 1930s…I will share later but it sounds like the lady in your story…hope you are having a good week.


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