Monday Musings 12/09/11
MJ and I have the privilege of living on two continents in any given year, six months in Africa and six months in Canada. We have the unique opportunity of observing two perspectives on two Continents.
Many people in North America ask me about the spiritual climate on the Continent of Africa. They are intrigued by the spiritual resources they hear about. Meanwhile, people in Africa are attracted by the material resources of North America that they observe on the internet and/or satellite television.
What amazes me is that both seem to desire what the other has, and neither seems content with what they themselves have.
My apologies in advance for what may appear to be a “rant”. In North America, we have it so good that we don’t need God. Our faith is placed in things made by human hands. Meanwhile, in Africa, unemployment is so high and wages are so low, that the only hope is God. I heard a classic line in a church yesterday here in Zambia. The pastor told the congregation that there was a job opportunity available for two security guards. He said “it pays well, but it does not pay much”.
Here is my concern. I fear that Africa is heading down the road that North America has been journeying on for many years. People are getting a taste of the good life here in Africa and they like it. The result is that church and God are becoming more of an option than they are a necessity. Ironically, my conversations in North America appear to be shifting toward dissatisfaction with the good life and a greater longing for greater spiritual depth. North America is still not desperate enough, but I believe it is getting there.
So what’s the secret? I preached in a church in Chongwe, Zambia yesterday and talked about the apostle Paul’s secret to contentment. Listen to his words to the church in Philippi. “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength”.
Instead of desiring what others have, maybe we should start looking at what we have, where we are living, and start making the necessary changes that will last for generations to come. North America, stop trusting in man and the things made by his hands and pursue God. Africa, keep trusting in God and put your hope in the Apostle Paul’s promise, “and my God will meet all your needs, according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus”.
You know, I think it is possible for two continents to enjoy both perspectives, just as they can enjoy gathering together, as long as they learn the secret of being content – I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength!!!!
Until next Monday…
Taking risks for Kingdom impact!