It’s the way you look at things. It’s how an artist views a painting, or how a photographer views a photo. It’s how writers view their character, how we view other people, how we view our lives. Sometimes, our focus is off, and we can no longer see things in perspective. We only see the trees, not the forest. We miss the bigger picture because we focus on the social issues instead of the real issues…
So, what do we tend to focus on? What are the social issues, or as I like to call them, “surface issues”?
Surface issues are the little things that are exaggerated as big things that we should be concerned about. They often draw our attention away from the bigger issues, such as homelessness, or poverty. An example from the bible is found in Ephesians chapter two. Paul was trying to unify the Ephesian christians, but the Jews wanted the Gentiles to be circumcised like they were. Circumcision was an act performed on Jewish males when they were babies, and it marked them as God’s chosen people. The Jews began discriminating the Gentiles who were not circumcised, and this caused for more arguements than necessary. Do we create more arguements than necessary? Do we fight over who’s allowed in our church, instead of welcoming them with open arms? Do we choose not to evangelise to some people because they are different than us? Do we focus on the social issues?
What are the real issues that we miss?
Practically everytime I go into Pensacola, one of the first things I see is poverty. People walking the streets, asking for money. People who just need to be loved…but most people don’t even glance at them. We make excuses for not helping people who need helping. We are too busy, we don’t have the money, etc. Why do we make excuses? Why is it that it’s so easy to help when we are children, but we become too busy when we get older? I’m not saying that we can fix homelessness, but we can do something. We can help in our church’s homeless ministry, or start one if there is none. Different people have differnent causes. For me, it’s sad when I hear about a school that is cutting music programs, because I believe that joy can be found in music. Find your cause. Find something to believe in, to help. One person cannot change the world, but many people who care about the world can. Maybe you are someone who really cares about the environment. Good. Raise awareness for issues such as habitat loss for animals. Maybe you like to read. Many kids don’t have the oppurtunity or access to books. There are many organizations out there that help to change something.
In closing, I dare you guys to look at the forest, not just the trees, and find your cause!
What does it take to make a change in life? What events touch your heart and your soul. Why does one person pass through your life like a breeze and another hit you like a brick?
We all have questions. Many of the Jews who lived through World War 2 question how they made it. And why. Why did 6 million Jews die in concentration camps and persecution from first the Germans under Adolf Hitler and then Joseph Stalin’s USSR. Why did one person survive due to the mercy of a stranger and a hundred others perish at the hands of friends and neighbors? Hard questions.
Did you ever wonder why you were raised in the town you were born in, with the parents you have and the beliefs you inherited? You may have been raised on a farm in Georgia or a quiet subdivision in Kentucky. Maybe your mother was a lonely single lady and had an affair with the milk man and became a single mother. Maybe you married your sweetheart in Christian college and he left you and the kids for a younger girl (or another guy). Maybe you married the questionable young girl with the bad reputation and fifty years later you told your sweetheart goodbye.
Perception of where we are and where we are going is both personal and ambiguous. A rice farmer with a 10 foot by 12 foot rice paddy spends his life cultivation a crop and considers himself wealthy because he has the privilege of working 365 days a year to feed his family. A European would expect to work hard for only 32 weeks a year and hopes to sleep through much of the winter. An African tribesman would scoff at the idea of cultivating food because it is so easy to catch and kill to eat.
Years ago Chief Dan George’s character in “The Outlaw Josey Wales” met President Grant after the U. S. Government took away his homeland. President Grant told him to “endeavor to persevere”. Or to make it simpler…keep trying to try??
You are single and you are content. What should you do? You are single because your spouse dumped you with the kids. What do you do? You are single because your spouse died. What do you do? You are single because you are a square peg in a world of round holes. What do you do?
I don’t have all the answers. The book of Jeremiah is an “endeavor to persevere” story if there is one. Jeremiah was a lonely man and God told him he would not marry. God told him to go preach to the king who put him in a bucket and had him lowered into a well and left him there. Jeremiah tried to warn the Jews of coming doom if they didn’t repent. Years later he left Jerusalem along with most of those he warned as a captive bound for Babylon.
I hope you get a happy ending to your story. But if your don’t, God is good. If your prince/princess never comes, God is good. If the child support doesn’t come, God is good.
Endeavor to persevere. Sure. Why not? God is in control and he has a plan.