Titled “The Ultimate Map” the poem that I derive the name of this entry comes from a very nice gentleman at our church. The title is referring to our need to look to our savior to be our “map” for this life. My favorite part of the poem goes like this:
“grant me the serenity to accept the things that I can not change, the courage to change the things that I can, and the wisdom to know the difference”
Is there a better way to summarize our daily life as Christians? Sure there are a lot of specifics within this, but in generalities, most of our days are filled with micro decisions which all stem back to this quote. We all must determine, in everything we do, whether we are attempting to accept something, or determining to change something.
Currently we find ourselves in Mexico. This is just one of many steps in our journey since we began taking action when the Lord showed us something that we needed to change. To us, this trip brings a sense of action and accomplishment to the four months of preparation that we have been through. At the same time, it is one step among many on this path that the Lord has us on, and it also is a reminder that our work has yet to even begin.
As we see, first hand the pain of this world in the tired eyes and broken hearts of the “least of these” we gain but a glimpse into the tyranny that life can bring when humanity is not afforded the benefits of certain societies. We begin to catch the vision for which God has prepared us. We begin to realize just what saying “yes” really means.
“Education: the path from cocky ignorance to miserable uncertainty.”
This quote really sums up my journey, as well as many others, I am sure., including that of the author of this quote, Samuel Clemens, or as you might better know him, Mark Twain. I can only speak from my own experience but I do tend to think that most people can also find some truth in this statement in their own lives. The truth of this statement becomes more and more evident as you come to understand what causes the things that we perceive to be unjust, or wrong according to our cultural norms.
But the real truth of this statement, to me, shows itself in that it is true in every sense when looking at the problems and issues of this world, yet loses all value when applied to Scripture and Jesus. The more I study humanity and what causes certain societal ills, the more uncertain I become about my initial assumptions. (i.e. “well if they would just work harder” or “they should have studied harder in school” or “well they should not have had sex”) But the more I study God’s word and the life and teachings of Jesus, the more certain I am, the more trust I have in Him, the more sure I become in the life that He has called us all to. A life of sacrifice for “the least of these”.
Even Confucius understood the principle to which we are called as human beings, although he missed the fact that it is because that is how we were created by God.
“To know what is right and not to do it is the worst cowardice.”
We know what is right, we have heard it a hundred times sitting in the pews of our churches and from the very words of the Bible that we claim to place our entire existence upon. I can tell you without a shadow of doubt that it is very difficult to be called to send as opposed to go. I wrestled with this for four years, while we were simply called to send while we waited on God’s timing to go. The battle between our own selfish desires and what we know we should be spending our money on (The Kingdom), is one that is so difficult to face on a daily basis, especially living in the States.
So when God opened the door to our long awaited request to go, we were ecstatic and all to willing to jump our current ship and sing up for this new adventure. Oh, how little we knew or understood the sacrifices that came along with that. I cannot even say that we know them yet, but simply beginning to see the reality of them taking shape is enough to know that with each passing day, we must learn to rely more and more on our Savior, or we will soon be underwater.
So as we continue to walk this path of Faith, whether that be here in Cancun, right now, Haiti in the near future, and who knows where down the road, our prayer is this:
“Holy Spirit, grant us the serenity to accept the things that we can not change, the courage to change the things that we can, and the wisdom to know the difference. And in all that we do, may you be glorified above all.”
May this be your prayer also.
We will be posting more next week about what we are doing here in Cancun ans more specifically what Back2Back is doing.