Saturday, August 20, 2011

Musings

Do you ever wonder what it would be like if you had been born in a different country? I can sit for hours and ponder what it would be like to grow up in a village somewhere in Africa or in the jungles of the Amazon or in the slums of some Middle Eastern city. Imagine how it would be if all I knew of the world was a tiny village hidden away somewhere. And then I marvel at how God chose for me to be born in a prosperous country, in a Christian family, and to grow up with the world seemingly at my fingertips.

I remember watching Louis Giglio's DVD "Indescribable" with my students in Tanzania, and afterwards how mind boggling it was for them to conceptualize the idea of a telescope out in space taking pictures of other galaxies or showing them pictures of America and how difficult it was for them to conceive of four lane highways or supermarkets. And yet however small their worldview, they were not naive. I remember crying as I read their assignments about horrific tribal rituals that were just a normal part of their lives. Here was a people for whom world wars and scientific discoveries and history-altering events were distant and unreal concepts, and yet for whom evil and violence was still just as vivid.

I am currently reading a book by Lillian Dickson a missionary to Taiwan after the second World War. And I love this description she wrote of a tribe in a tiny secluded village in the island jungle. It reminds me a bit of how it felt to be with the Maasai in Tanzania or the children in the bush in Kenya for whom the world beyond their village was distant and somehow irrelevant:

I thought of the world outside from which I had come, a world engrossed in a war with nations watching, as if watching a football game, a world brilliant, restless, energetic, sinful, pressing on its way, while these people in the mountains were secluded as if in a vacuum, or in a long dream like Rip Van Winkle. When they awaken really, what will they find? Perhaps a world that has destroyed itself - and will they wonder why? We are giving them the one thing that is indestructible, 'Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.'

And that is the conclusion I always come to at the end of all my musings. If God in His great sovereignty somehow chose to bless me with the good fortune of my citizenship, family, education, and most importantly salvation, my only fitting response must be to offer my life back to Him, to multiply His blessing in the nations. Anything lesser would somehow seem selfish.

"Love so amazing, so divine, demands my life, my soul, my all."

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