The deck is being shuffled in the Middle East. Only time will tell if the changes are positive or negative. With greater access to news and information, common folk can hear about events around the world. News traveled fast on December 17, 2010 when Mohammed Bouazizi of Tunisia doused himself in paint thinner and set himself ablaze. His vegetable vending cart had been confiscated because he lacked a permit. Local authorities would not listen to his appeals, and so he attempted suicide publicly in protest. He was taken to a hospital with third degree burns.
This first ripple set into motion a wave of unrest as citizens in the Arab world became emboldened with thoughts of revolution and freedom. Tunisia and Egypt experienced revolutions. Unrest is spreading in Iran, Yemen, Bahrain, and Libya. Dictators are quaking in their boots. The discontent has obviously been building for decades, and is finally being released.
Believers should pray that the new norm in the region would be more freedom rather than more Islamist extremism. God is the author of history, and he is sovereign over the changes we are witnessing. As far as I can tell, the energy for this revolution is the yearning of the human spirit for the right of self-determination.
Another, more powerful force underlies a wave of change closer to home. While the yearning for freedom and fiscal responsibility has sparked changes at the ballot box, I believe that the Holy Spirit is bringing awakening to Christian families. We are realizing that we parents are responsible for teaching our children, not the government. This brings revolution in the homes, not the streets.
As we instruct our children, we notice the gaps in our own schooling. We see the importance of the classics and integration of subjects. We see that history is not mysterious, but fascinating to study. We understand that foreign languages can be learned with disciplined study. As information flows more freely, parents have access to libraries around the world. They can connect more easily with other parents for encouragement. The Internet offers much more than just Facebook and Twitter.
We teach our children to think for themselves, to analyze evidence and consider events in historical perspective. Through their studies, students see problems with the status quo. They see better ways of dealing with poverty, debt, and foreign policy. They wonder why leaders have led our country so unwisely.
This generation of students will be equipped to do more than protest high tuition or complain about the job market. They will be able to take initiative and solve problems. They will challenge those in power by advocating better ideas.
More importantly, the new generation will take seriously Jesus’ call to make disciples. They will seek to build the kingdom of God, rather than the institutions of men. They will recognize that changes in government can only go so far. With the kingdom of God growing in the hearts of people, there is a power that goes beyond politics. This is the wave of revolution that God desires to bring.
The Spirit of God is stirring hearts – of parents and students. The revolution is on the way. It did not begin with a suicide protest, but with a loving Father giving his only Son to die for our sins.