When was the last time that you rushed through an airport? Ticketing, security, zone boarding, all of the chaos wears you down pretty quickly, not to mention if your flight is delayed or bumped. But something happens once you're in the air. The rush of getting on the plane, the slight stress of all that weight miraculously lifting into the sky, then at some point there's a quiet moment, peace, silence. You glance out the window toward a beautiful sky filled with clouds or a gorgeous sunset and you realize your perspective has changed, your heart rate has dropped and you can now breathe deeply and enjoy the view.
Our perspective can change quickly, for the good or the bad. Life happens at a frantic pace and sometimes its all we can do to hang on and yet keep our eyes on Jesus.
I recently went to Haiti to work with an orphanage, thinking it would be a nice departure from my normal routine. I'd have time to play with kids and share a week working to make life a little easier for those in need. I knew it wouldn't be vacation but never thought I'd have trouble with everyday life once I got back.
Haiti is a hard place to visit. It's a hard place to take into your heart and mind. You find yourself wondering what could be done to "fix" the problem or "clean up" the mess, yet somehow life works in Haiti, at least it goes on. Our worlds parallel with busyness, commerce, and even charity, but life is not the same.
I was recently hanging out with some family and watched as they watered the yard. All day I watched this little water tractor slowly and methodically drench the already green grass. At first I didn't think much about it and even commented on a beautiful lawn, but as the day ran on, I couldn't help but think of all the 2 and 3 year olds in Haiti pumping and carrying water for their entire families, mixing concrete for new homes and in the occasional break, being children. Later in our visit our conversation went to a new car that had been purchased and in pure Hollywood fashion my mind flashed a montage of all the beat up "tap-taps" and rundown vehicles that work to manage the crazy rocky terrain there in Port-Au-Prince. I started to sense something going on in my spirit that continues even now. I feel a sickness in my soul to the preferences and comforts that have been an everyday reality for my life in America as compared to the harsh reality of life everyday for the Haitian. Are we so desensitized to the difficulty of those around the world that our conversations have become filled with lesser battles waged by football teams and corporate sponsors, yet we don't care about children working, starving, and dying all over the world. Maybe the default of my environment will overtake my sense of compassion and justice at some point, but I hope not. I feel like God, by His Spirit is trying to help me see beneath the veil, beyond the cover of our comfort to the tragic, desperate and urgent need of people around the world. People in need of help and hope and ultimately Jesus. I'm not sure of exactly what all I can do to help, but I am aware of how blessed I am, how amazing my life is and how good God is. Now I have to do something with the knowledge and growing discontent in my heart for stuff. I'm looking forward to finding ways to teach my kids about how very blessed they are and how we can help make the lives of others around the world a little better.
How's your perspective right now? Does it feel like you've been complaining a lot lately? Do you feel lost or even confused about what you believe about God? Find a way to be intentional about mission in your life. Find a way to love and serve someone besides yourself, and be reminded of how very blessed you are, how good God is and what life would look like in a different country or context. Allow your outlook to change, to even shock you back into the reality of right perspective, then as we live worship, and serve the world - enjoy the view!