June 13, 2009
The Big Picture
by Charles R. Swindoll
If you were to do a little fun research to discover the sheer quantity of activities that happen each day in America, you'd be amazed. Consider, for example, the number of cups of coffee consumed, the number of babies born, the number of people who take a taxi, bury a pet, get divorced, go to the hospital, watch prime-time television, ride on an airplane, and go to school.
So what? That's trivia, right? When you multiply all those things by 365, you get the general idea that there's a fair amount of energy, money, activity, and trauma going on in a year's time. And that's just in America---representing only a portion of the world's population. We may not be big, but we're busy. In fact, we are so busy it's easy to get selfishly swept up in the whirlwind of our own little playground sandwiched between the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans . . . blessed beyond measure and rich beyond comparison.
Every so often it's helpful to stop the annual merry-go-round, get off, look objectively, and think clearly. It's not only helpful, it's essential for the Christian. In this circus-like American lifestyle of ours, we tend to be deafened by the blare of our own band and blinded by the lights of our own spots, shining---always shining---on the ring of our own choice.
That needs to change. We need to hear the voice of the Ringmaster as He raises His hand to stop the band:
"We interrupt this program to bring all of you a reminder that the world in which you live is not the whole world . . . but only a very small part of the world for which I died."
The Great Commission is still "the Great Commission," not "The Limited Agreement for My Corner of America." He still looks out across a wide world and weeps over men and women and children who do not know---have never heard---His healing, life-giving Name.
Can you feel His pain? What could you do this week to reach farther, see wider, feel deeper? What could help you kindle a greater understanding, perspective, and compassion for this vast hurting world of ours?
Taking a missionary out for coffee?
Reading---really absorbing---a good missions magazine?
Writing a letter to some battle-weary missions veteran in the trenches of a distant country?
Making friends with a lonely international student?
Writing a check so that a hungry third-world family finds hope for another day?
Praying that the Lord would give you an opportunity to serve Him in a cross-cultural experience---even for one year?
Sound risky? Maybe. But I've got a hunch that when the score is added up one day as we stand before our Lord, many of us will wish we'd played a lot more Risk . . . and a lot lessTrivial Pursuit.
Excerpted from Come Before Winter and Share My Hope, Copyright © 1985, 1994 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.