Thursday, August 26, 2010

The One Thing

macromondays "up" -...
from [malcolm] via Flikr.com
Not long ago I heard a young man give a talk to a group of eager listeners about how to enjoy peace in our lives.  One particular statement he made stood out, something that I cannot let go without comment:

"We cannot let God become the one thing in our lives.  When we are focused on spreading the word of God, unfortunately we sometimes become blind to what is happening around us."

I disagree.  I have found that the times I am focused on spreading the word of God, my eyes have been actually opened to the world around me.  I find I am more sensitive to issues of social injustice, both globally and locally.  Globally, when I hear of children dying before the age of five because they live in a region where there is a lack of clean water for them to drink, or women who see no choice but to sell their bodies as prostitutes and lose their self-worth in the process.  Closer to home, I see children  without a man who knows how to be a daddy to his kids, and the circumstances these young people find themselves in because they lack a male authority figure who will give them fatherly advice.  Or adults who want to numb the pain of believing no one cares for them, but the pain is so great that no remedy seems to help.  I can't help thinking how different their world could be, that Jesus is the one thing that could make a difference.

On the other hand, I have seen and heard of people who dedicate their lives, with no expectation of personal gain, to spreading the word of God to those around them.  They invest their finances, their time, their very selves, into building wells, providing medical care, speaking out against the exploitation of women, mentoring the at-risk youth, offering a hand-up to the down-and-out.  And they are not satisfied to help just one person.  No, the more these people reach out to help, the more they see the need for the help they offer. They touch as many lives as they can, striving to help just one more.  It sometimes breaks their hearts to realize they can't help everyone.

To be focused on spreading the word of God is to not only see the world around us, but to actively respond to what our eyes have been opened to, and living out the call that God has purposed for our lives.  For some that call may be foreign mission; for others, teaching Sunday school.  Or, God may call some to intercessory prayer, to be humbly on one's knees petitioning to the creator of the universe on behalf of a particular need.

Making God the one thing in our lives does not blind us.  It requires our eyes to be opened.

2 comments:

izakura said...

God bless! How are you? Good to see your writing!

rt said...

Great post, Mary. So true that following Jesus becomes our worldview, the lens from which everything is then seen and processed.