“Between who we are and who we could be…Between how it is and how it should be…” – Switchfoot in “Dare You To Move”
The transformation isn’t complete yet. I assume it won’t really ever be complete until the last earthly breath fills my lungs. Thank God for loving us too much to keep us where we are.
He will stop at nothing to force us to move. It’s just whether or not we are listening to His call.
When 2011 began, I prayed for God to reveal His word for me, the word He would like to see me focus upon, the word that personified an area that needed growth.
Hold on to your chair when God gives you the word “obedience”, friends.
If you had told me three months ago that I would be going to Ghana, a small country in West Africa, at pretty much a moment’s notice, I would have looked at you incredulously – surely not me.
But again, He can do so much with so little. His plan unfolds while we are merely the puppets, the characters that think we make the plan instead of Him.
What matters most to me now isn’t necessarily what mattered the most to me just three weeks ago because out of obedience, I went when He called me elsewhere and the lesson He prepared woke this sleeper and forced me to rise from the dead.
iPhones don’t exist in Ghana. Most people don’t have access to the Internet. Several people do not live in a home with indoor plumbing or electricity. Many more live in a mud and grass hut, some in a shanty, some in a one room cell for 10 people.
Some live nowhere.
I didn’t hear one person say “I’ll Facebook you later” or “Did you get my email?” when they were talking to friends on the street.
A “tweet” refers to the sound a bird makes.
They live with so much less. And they live with so much more.
We were blessed to visit one of Ghana’s poorest villages, Chorker, a small fishing community that has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the country while visiting the Teshie/Accra area and our guide was Enoch, the town elder as well as the leader of an orphanage and the free local school.
We had planned to go for about two hours.
We were gone for almost seven.
Due to a bit of a language barrier and a cultural laissez-faire for schedules, we didn’t always know the plan but with Enoch at the helm of our ship for the day, we trusted we were in good hands and we were.
We met several precious faces at the community’s only free school.
We visited Enoch’s mother…
Spent a bit of time with an elderly man that is loved by all…
Helped two pregnant single mothers in need of health insurance, both scared and beyond the poverty level. One was 42 years old and expecting her fourth child, the other just 15 – a baby herself.
We spent time with the birth mother of my friend’s two adopted daughters.
Yet He knew it was all along. Sweet surrender.
Tired and hungry (we didn’t eat much because you know, we were only going to be gone for about two hours) and at the threshold for the amount of devastation a heart can take in one day, we staggered back to Accra and buried our heads in a pizza.
But we could no longer bury our heads in the sand.
We simply can’t “unsee” the seen.
I’m blessed to be in a study on serving others written and led by Beth and Jay Loecken, leaders of the ministry “Passion to Action” (please include a link to their site – www.passiontoaction.org) and our homework this past week included the following truths that stopped me in my tracks:
“If you make $25,000 a year, you are wealthier than 90% of the world’s population. If you make $50,000 a year, you are wealthier than 99% of the world’s population. Ninety-three percent of the world’s population doesn’t own a car. More than half of the people on our planet live on less than $2 a day. In fact, if you put food in the refrigerator, clothes in a closet, sleep in a bed, and have a roof over your head, you are richer than 75% of the world.” (P2A Small Group Study, p. 59)
The resources we sit upon as a country is staggering. I can no longer sugar-coat the fact that there is no excuse to not help..
And so I reassess and reprioritize and redesign and just about “re” everything else but I don’t need to be reminded.
What matters most is not our “to do” list. It’s not our agendas or our iPhones or our cars or our houses or our clothes or our jewelry.
However, what does matter the most is taking the time to be relational with one another. To listen to the war veteran tell his tale for maybe the tenth time. To give of our financial resources not out of our excess but to give until we feel it, until we have to make sacrifices ourselves so that others may gain. It’s about closing the screens when we are supposed to be with our children, it’s about looking the speaker in the eye. It’s about conversations, real-life conversations and not emails, texts, and tweets.
There is a time and place for all of this. I’m not shunning it all.
But I am choosing to focus on what truly does matter the most – the people God created and the souls within.
But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said:
“Wake up, O sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”- Ephesians 5:13-14