Tuesday, November 25, 2014

It's a Small World After all!

 This tune repeated itself madly through my head when, as a young teenager, I had the opportunity to ride this amusement park ride at Disney World. Over and over again, the children's voices rang out this truth: It's a small, small world! This morning, we talked about that a bit--here we are, nearly 40 years after that first initial ride, and the song still rings true. The world and its inhabitants grow closer and closer together, yet the heart remains farther and farther away.

 This past weekend, I had the opportunity to visit a living museum park in our community. Within its gates, visitors could read about the "good old days" of moonshiners, revenuers and religion. Most folks stayed within a 100 mile radius of their birthplace. Running shine was a very large part of the economy, and other than the government, whom the locals felt had too much meddlin' in family life, no one, not even preachers, seemed to mind.

 Someone had the common sense to interview several survivors of the Great Depression and share the interview with the town. One such survivor admitted that he'd never heard of "Santa Claus" until he was well into his 30's, and the birth of Christ was foreign to him, as well. Sure, he read the Bible, but it was just one of many hundreds of verses in that book. Lots of stories in there, but none were celebrated. He had little contact with the outside world, and the local news didn't go much farther than a couple of states either. How different life was back then!

How different it is today! Just this morning, I was able to open up the laptop and have a video chat with friends from all across the state. We've also video chatted with friends from other countries, as if it were no big deal! We laugh, share culture stories, but most of all, we share Jesus. I still know some old-timers who want nothing to do with "that blamed contraption" (referring to the Internet) yet think nothing of picking up the phone and dialing out. I imagine there were old timers back in THEIR day, who wanted nothing to do with the "modern contraptions" back then, (ie. cordless phones) that current day old-timers rolled their eyes at.

 Yet, for all the instant communication and instant information, mankind just can't seem to get it together when it comes to "world peace". Not only do people have quicker means of contacting more of humanity, we also have quicker access to share our faith--regardless of the faith, with other people. Sadly, people are people. Pandora's Box just grows bigger and bigger, or man's weakness, sinful nature, whatever you want to call it. Wars and rumors of wars still haven't ceased, even with all the instant gratification we have.

You and I don't have to be a part of the war, or the rumors of wars. Why not be part of the Thanksgiving group instead? King David said he had never seen the righteous forsaken, or His seed begging bread. This world needs hope--and someone needs to remind them that our hope is in nothing less than Jesus Christ. Yes, the smaller we become, the more hateful we're apt to become (Because he isn't like me), out of fear of just how the other person IS. Maybe they're out to get us?

Yet, what does love do? Love is patient. God is love, so therefore, God is patient. (Thankfully!) Am I? Love is kind, God is kind, so therefore, God is kind. Am I? Love doesn't boast, it's not envious. God is love, therefore God doesn't boast, He's not envious (Envious of what, for crying out loud?!?!) Am I? Love isn't proud. God is love, therefore God isn't proud. Am I? (Ha! Which day of the week??) Love is not self-seeking, is not easily angered. God is love, so therefore God isn't self-seeking, nor is He easily angered. Am I? (Man--this is getting rather painful!) I'm going to stop here--but you can read the rest of the "love is" description in I Corinthians 13. The bottom line is, as we come into contact with more and more people, we have a greater risk of being hurt, but we also have a greater opportunity to love as God loves. Without the Holy Spirit living inside of us, that's not going to happen. Just something to think about....

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