*People are thinking about it.
*People are hearing sermons about it.
*People are reading articles about it.
*People are regretting their past behavior.
*People are being affected daily on a personal level.
*People are talking to family and friends about it.
*People are evaluating ways to change their behavior.
*People are soliciting the assistance of others to help them change.
*People are hearing national leaders address the problem.
*People are thinking about their children having to face the problem.
*People are teaching their children responsibility concerning it.
*People are counting the cost of changing -- and of not changing.
*People are taking steps to change.
So, what has happened? Have people all of a sudden begun to listen to preachers and study their Bibles? No. Unfortunately, the above descriptions are not about sin. Though the subject might at first glance appear to be sin, it is actually gasoline consumption. People have seen for themselves the high cost of dependence on petroleum -- they are paying more for it through virtually every product and service they purchase.
As a preacher, I am amazed by the sweeping effects of the current gasoline crisis. However, there really is no mystery to it. People change when they see the need to change. We can talk all day long about sin and its consequences, but a person will not move until they know it applies to them and are persuaded that change is something they can and should do.
There's something else about this crisis: people are affected personally, but also see the need to help others change as well. In an interesting twist, we all realize we must change our own behavior, but know that it will be better for all concerned if we persuade others.