World on Our Shoulders

Altas
When it comes to caring about the salvation of the world, our generation, for the first time in world history, understand this in a whole new way.  In the 1970's, Apple pioneered the first personal computers.  In the early 1990's, Netscape pioneered the first popular internet program, allowing the world to be connected in a way never before imaginable.  Today, we are more aware than ever of the pressing needs of our time.  Issues such as intense poverty, massive storms, global warming and unreached people groups.  Combine these overwhelming circumstances with the fact that more than ever, individuals have more ability and power to help than ever.  We know what's happening around the world, and we can wire money or encourage a friend on the other side of the globe in minutes!  Maybe you've heard the ancient story that brought about the phrase "carrying the world on your shoulders" ...

"Most of us are aware
that an atlas is a book of maps.  An atlas is a drawing, on paper or cloth,
of earth's surface, showing countries, seas, mountains, rivers
towns and so on.  How did this book of maps get the name atlas?
There is a story which goes like this:


(Every mythology has stories of several gods.  In Greek mythology Atlas was
a giant god, who had immense strength.)
Once upon an ocean many years ago, a story was told about a very strong man
named Atlas, who's task it was to hold the world on his strong shoulders.
One day, another strong man named Hercules came along and asked Atlas to find
some golden apples for him.  Atlas agreed if Hercules would hold the world
on his shoulders for a while.
Atlas brought the golden apples back to Hercules and informed Hercules he no
longer wanted to carry the world on his shoulders.  Hercules said,
"OK, But just hold it for a few minutes so I can pad my shoulders because
the world is so heavy."
Atlas agreed and lifted the world back on his shoulders.  Hercules walked
away and left Atlas holding the world. 
Even now it is believed that Atlas is holding the world on his shoulders."
(Story retold, 21st century: by Mary Donahue and Mary Jo Janovsky)

The truth is that God has never called us to carry the world on our shoulders, but more than ever before, a generation of young adults is struggling with this complex.  What has God called us to?  To serve.  To major in the little things.  To care for those closest to us.  God teaches us this in his Word, in one instance, by giving us the illustration of the Body of Christ.  The nose can't run the Body, but it can do it's part and help the rest of the Body do theirs.  The eye can't move the Body, but it can shine light on where to go.  The world, in truth, is God's footstool, and suspended quite nicely actually.  Don't get so overwhelmed in reaching the world that you miss sharing Christ with those in your workplace, school or neighborhood.  As each of us do our part to reach the world we encourage the rest to do theirs.  As a whole, we can do it.