If you have not…
- Slept on the floor of an orphanage in the heart of Africa after bathing with a single bucket of cold water drawn from the ground.
- Struggled to swallow a meal of beans and pumpkin leaves (or some other meagre local ingredients gathered from the fields) simply because you did not want to offend your generous host.
- Used a “long-drop”, (or even know what it is).
- Sat through a three hour Buddhist, Hindu, or Chinese ceremony without understanding a single word.
- Visited a local church in a remote country village.
- Spent hours in an attempt to learn and understand a new language, history, or culture.
- Been stared at by native villagers because you were the first white person they had ever seen.
- Walked “a short distance” (in other words, a couple of miles) to reach the local well, or fountain, and only water supply only to find a tiny stream of water trickling from a mountainside.
- Climbed a mountain or hiked through a valley with only your backpack and a tent.
You have not seen the world.
It doesn’t matter if you have…
- Spent all your savings on a holiday in Europe.
- Eaten at many fancy restaurants.
- Taken thousands of pictures at famous monuments and places, such as the Eiffel Tower.
- Discovered that your pictures didn’t look half as good as the ones in the travel magazines that were photo-shopped but posted them on Facebook and Instagram anyway.
- Flown to an exotic island on a private resort for your honeymoon.
- Lain on the beach for hours to work on your tan, totally unaware of the fact that more than 90% of the women in countries like Thailand would give anything to be white.
If we truly “see the world”, we cannot ignore its brokenness, its poverty, or its pollution. We would be appalled that those things which were once breathtakingly beautiful are being destroyed by the same beings that God created to care for his creation.
If we truly “see the world”, our hearts would be broken by the number of children growing up in slums and gutters or being sold into the sex-trade and other forms of slavery by their own parents. The persecution of people and the poaching of endangered animals would grieve our hearts.
Perhaps choosing to “live the dream” is a way of escaping the harsh reality of the world situation and the pervading madness. Resulting from the love of money driving men to do unspeakable things.
We might wake up in the middle of a picture straight from the cover of a travel magazine.
We could take a thousand perfect pictures of majestic mountains, palm trees, and unspoiled beaches. Our friends would sure be jealous that we had fulfilled the dream of travelling halfway across the world.
It’s a different kind of addiction to feed the map of the world into your mind and to mark it with imaginary pins of places you still want to see and lists of things that you want to do. Your “high” might very well be being able to cross off one more country, one more experience, or to buy one more plane ticket.
I know, because I’ve been there, done that, got many T-shirts, and, in a way, I’m still an addict.
Only one thing has changed.
I’ve always wanted to ‘see the world’. Now I just want ‘the world’ to see.
“And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.”
I have learned that the root of that feeling I have always felt – that “something greater was waiting on the other side” – was grounded in my purpose in life. My true heart’s desire is not to see this world for the sake of “seeing this world”… But to fall more in love with the Creator of Heaven and Earth.
The world doesn’t need another star-gazer, or tourist, another travel blog or magazine, another photographer, writer or travel-agent.
The world needs Jesus!
What the world needs is not another organization, denomination, or demonstration.
The world needs ordinary people like you and me who are simply willing to GO.
“GO YE THEREFORE, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
What if… instead of “seeing the world”, we could “show it The Way”?
Image Credit: Pixabay