I have had the incredible opportunity and privilege to travel to a few different parts of the world. There is something amazing about seeing and experiencing different cultures around the world. The biggest thing that sticks out to me is the way in which people lived in their communities. For example, in many parts of the world, people don’t have stoves to cook on. So the way they cook every day is building a fire and cooking food for their family. There are many more examples, but you get the picture. All of us have a “normal” way of buying groceries, transportation, and living.
The way I grew up living is completely different than the way people in Africa, Europe, and Mexico grew up. As I grew up, there were many things that I grew accustomed to: having air conditioning, dishwasher, washer and dryer, and easy transportation of a couple of vehicles. In many ways, my experiences inform what I believe is or what should be normal in my life. What happens when I don’t have what I grew up expecting to have? How does my attitude change? What does my heart believe about the goodness of God?
Puerto Escondido, Mexico is hot. When we first moved here, we had to adjust to not having a car, air conditioning, and trying to buy things when we didn’t even know the language. Early on, I remember complaining about the heat, the difficulty of getting around, and becoming disenchanted with the beauty of where we had moved to. When your plans go different than expected, challenges arise. When you encounter something that you are not used to, it is easy to wonder why these circumstances are happening and complain.
My point is this: God, in all of his incredible goodness and love, has given us everything we ever need in Him ( 2 Peter 1:3). In His grace, he sent His son Jesus to die for me so that I could escape the slavery of my sin and walk in the freedom of the cross. This is the greatest gift and anything else that we receive is an extension of that gift. A car, air conditioning, a home, a family, and a job is all an extension of God’s incredible goodness to us. Let us look out and be reminded of the incredible blessings given to us and know that every moment is given by God as a gift.
“To pay attention is to attend to something, to be present. We attend because the world isn’t cold and empty but filled with the presence of God. Every moment, every encounter, is meaningful and numinous. All ground is holy ground.” – Mike Cosper