One reason I am so glad that God allowed me to go to Ethiopia is because of the perspective it continually gives me.
If I’m tired of the rain and wish summer (or should I say spring?) would finally get here to the Northwest, I think about the ones who live and work out in the weather.
If I get stressed out about having people over because my carpet needs cleaning or my window coverings are embarrassingly outdated, I remember this woman who opened her little home (hovel?) to complete strangers and felt so honored we would visit.
If I stand in front of my closet crammed with clothes feeling tired of wearing the same thing all the time, it’s not unusual for me to think of these children.
When I start feeling sorry for myself in any way, I want to think of our staff in Ethiopia who are serving Christ so joyfully and yet have almost nothing of the world’s ‘nice’ things. They have dirt floors. They cook outside. There are never leftovers.
I didn’t have to go to Africa to get this perspective. I know God’s word and I know (in my head) that life’s really not all about me.
I know this.
But I’m so grateful to have these faces of ‘the least of these’ in my heart. I want to remember them and quickly confess my tendancy to think that I’m at the center. To crucify my crown-wearing Self that keeps trying to sit up on the throne and to take my spot at His feet instead.
Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God… Since God chose you to be the holy people He loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.
Colossians 3:1-3,12 NLT