It’s my journey

My JourneyI have started and stopped this post multiple times.  No matter how sensitive or understanding I try to be, it has continued to come off sounding snarky and judgmental of my culture.  The thing I have always been critical of others doing, is the very thing I find myself being sucked into.

I will try again.

It has been an amazing honor for me to be able to travel to other parts of the world throughout my life.  It has been totally humbling.  I know I am part of a privileged few.  I know these opportunities are mine because I have the financial resources and opportunities that 95% of the world’s population don’t have.

I know how disingenuous it sounds for the wealthy to be critical of the wealthy.  So I won’t.  I just need to look at myself and you’ll have to trust me that today, I’m not trying to slip something past you. 

I know I am part of the wealthy 5% and I am who I am, in large part, because of that.  I have good health and access to some of the best health care in the world.  I go to a gym.  I eat fresh, healthy food.  At least most days.  I am educated.  My heritage affords me no limitations to pursue whatever dreams I have ever had.

I have unlimited fresh water to drink every day.  I can even put my mouth up to the shower head and drink my fill.

I could go on.  You know I could go on.

Today, I worshipped with people of humble means.  They are brothers and sisters.  They are part of the same group of people I call my family.  As I sat and stood and sang and ultimately, preached in this body, I couldn’t help but be grateful.  But not necessarily for the riches of this life I have.  I think my gratitude went much deeper than that.

My gratitude is that I find solidarity.  By God’s grace and the road I have traveled, the differences I have with people do not matter.  We are all drawn to different tastes and smells and activities.  We come from incredibly different places, but the patterns and lifestyles do not push me away or put me off.

Fear of the differences does not exist.  Judgment is not tolerated.  I simply cannot make light of the customs, nuance, or traditions of people who are different than I am.  It would just hurt too much.  Any feelings of moral, intellectual, or spiritual superiority vanish in a shared experience.  Common laughter over the cultural peculiarities of our backgrounds are always had with the greatest of respectand loving sensitivity.

This soil I am on today is the land and culture of my brothers and sisters.  How could I ever act or think or talk  with anything less than love?  There is a reverence reserved for all.  The Creator poured worth into His creation.  Am I a reflection of the Creator or not?

I don’t deserve the life or experiences I have.  My thankfulness extends far beyond my life at home.

Gratitude is just not a big enough word.

I’ve had an amazing couple of days.  Here are a few pictures from it…

Wedding 1

A beach wedding…

Don Pepe

A stop a Don Pepe’s Authentic Tex-Mex…

BK

A local Baskin Robbinsvegetarian style (no dairy).  mmm?

Church Building

A Tamil-speaking church that I preached at today…

Congregation 1

There were about 200many who are recent Hindu converts…

Congregation 2

Yup.  That’s me, with my translator, Sam.

Senior Pastor family

Pastor Solomon and his family.  He was a student of mine on my first trip to India…

Youth Pastor family

Pastor Wesley and his family.  A very cool youth pastor…

Young Disciples

Some of the young dudes of the church…

Yes.  A good day.  Bring on week #2…

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8 thoughts on “It’s my journey

    1. That is part of the deep humility that I am feeling here tonight. As the world’s culture comes to our front door, we need to be willing to open it freely.

      Looking forward to being back.

  1. Mike, you keep doing your thing! You are a blessing to people all over the world!!! I am very grateful that your family and my family’s paths have crossed. I’m sure there are people all over that feel the same way I do.

  2. I am a very proud son right now! A lot of work is being done on the other side of the world. I can’t wait for the impact you will have on us when you get back. Thanks for being such an influence in my life.

    1. Back at you. Don’t you ever begin to think the things I do are more important than the things you do. God seems to direct us to the places where our gifts and talents can be put to use the best for his Kingdom. You do what you do. I’ll do what I do. We will both make a difference. See you soon.

  3. Sir, your visit to the Church is very encouraging.. I believe the sermon on Obedience shifts our focus from oneself to God.. we wish that you would enjoy each day in India serving our King

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