Friday, February 16, 2007

It’s All in the Perspective

Great challenge is great opportunity. It is not insurmountable. It is not overwhelming. It is a mountain, to be climbed one slow step at a time. A battle of the will and the mind. How you choose to look at it is completely your choice. I can guarantee that God is viewing it as an opportunity, so are you choosing to look at it from God’s view? And if you’re not, whose view do you think your viewing?

It is Friday, which means that I started the day teaching scripture in school. From 9:15 to noon, I go through five different classes, teaching them about the Bible and about God. What a unique opportunity to boldly share the gospel to children that largely consist of Muslims and Hindu’s. This morning, we discusses Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. How they choose to go against the crowd and follow God’s command rather than breaking it, knowing that it could cost them their lives. Such a powerful story, and very interesting for young minds, I know this because it fascinates me!

Tonight, I went to the Lautoka church to lead youth. Wow... what an experience. It is so awesome to see people who are authentic about their welcoming spirit and open to what God has to do in their lives. The spirit over the church just blows my mind, because it is friendly and light... it is free. I haven’t experienced that in a church while I’ve been here yet, but Lami was very very close.

After I gave my devotion (on salt and light), we went outside and played a game of volleyball. That and Rugby are the main games that are played in the schoolyards down here, but soccer is close behind. It was a friendly game with loose rules and more laughter than I’ve experienced in a long time. Amazing what a group of teenagers that are out to have fun can do to you... reminds me why I used to go to youth. It’s fun.

But it’s all in the perspective. I’m really struggling at having a good attitude while I’m here. Not because of the Fijian people. I’m struggling because of the input that I’m receiving from those who have been here much longer. I search, I strive to see the good, and I’m really having a hard go at it. I’m praying constantly that God would give me a good attitude, that He would keep my heart open and searching, and I continue to fight with it. I fight with it because it seems like from certain perspectives there is nothing good about this country or these people. Everything is a struggle. Everything used to go better ‘back when....’ Everything is questioned, nothing is trusted. Nothing will work. And it goes on... and on and on... it’s exhausting! It’s frustrating! And I’m wrestling with all my might to help on desperately to a positive attitude.

Ken and I drove to Lautoka and back together. On the way there, I interjected into his conversation (I wasn’t participating too much), and asked him what he loved about this country. I am striving for that one ray of sunshine amidst the clouds. “Nothing in particular.” Nothing in particular!? I don’t know if I could be in missions for 30+ years in a country that I love nothing in particular about. There are SO many redeeming qualities of the Fijian people. They are welcoming, friendly, loving, open, caring people. They are simple minded, but they have so much untapped potential. But I feel after being dropped off like someone has tethered their expectations to the ground.

I am constantly told that the Fijian people are unlike any other people group I’ve met. Yet everything I hear... they are struggling with drugs, alcohol, immorality, and those that know the Bible don’t apply it to their lives... keeps bringing me back to the thought that they sound a lot like people back home. I’m sure there are MANY things I don’t even see at this point, but is ministry really so complicated? Is it not as simple as spreading God’s word and love? Why do we have to make it more than that? Why do we doubt when we should push forward? Why do we call what appears to me as scepticism as ‘wisdom’ that is gained with age?

I know I’m young. I know that makes me passionate. I know that makes me foolhardy and hasty. But aren’t the young supposed to balance the old? Don’t we have something to offer too?

I guess it’s all in the perspective.


Lorelei said...

In what you write it sounds like you have more positive than negative things to say about the people you've met. I don't know what Ken and Mary's expectations are but I guarantee if someone was to come to my city and meet people I know, it would be extremely easy for them to give up, be negative and say there's no hope!! What is skepticism? Believing our God is not big enough, smart enough, loving enough, strong enough, and willing enough (!) to overcome!! So, like you, I choose hope for people who SEEM hopeless!!

Jordan said...

I agree with you that ministry is not as complicated as many people would make it. Think of Jesus's ministry, he loved the people, taught them, healed them, and died for them... but all he did came out of a bottomless love for people. Nothing too complicated, just love. Love hopes all things. I know you are discouraged by some people's lack of hope, but I know in you is is His hope for His children. I see it in your passion for people to grow. Never let go of that passion, no matter what people say about it! I love you. You inspire to strive higher. thank you for being you.