Wide Hearts for the World's Pain


Having a global perspective helps create a vision that allows you to live out your mission.

I sit in Starbucks pretty often. Probably a lot more than I should. While I wait for my grande-nonfat-chai, I glance over signs about fair-trade coffee beans. For a split second, I might be reminded. But I'm not. I watch for my drink. I grab a seat. I read my book.

It's just that easy to forget.

I live in a neat little world. People worry about paying for college, complain about their jobs and gas prices—things that can be significant frustrations. But with a Starbucks on every corner, most of America isn't a bloody gangland or life-and-death war zone. This existence is still relatively tame. We forget that there is an entire world out there exploding with stories of fears, dangers, and needs.

We may know in our heads that missiles are pelting terrorist camps in Iraq while refugees hide or seek safety in other countries. We may know in our heads that people are thrown in jail or prison camps, because they love Jesus in distant places like Bahrain, Pakistan, and North Korea. But it's far easier to become obsessed with what that classmate might think of us than to think about the rest of the world.

I was stirred recently by this verse from 2 Peter: If soon ". . . the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed," . . . what sort of people ought you to be?

For me, lately, this has translated to learning how to think globally. That is not just thinking of myself and my immediate needs, but living in such a way as to be ready to serve.

Thinking globally doesn't necessarily mean planning to move to another country (though it could). Thinking globally is simply changing your mindset, to be able to see beyond the America of McDonald's and Starbucks and Top 40 radio hits. It's having eyes that will look for areas where God is moving.

We need hearts that are willing to play—to jump in the story that He's writing throughout the world. It's leaping to our feet to serve, knowing that what we do is used in God's wider plan.

If the earth is soon going to dissolve, I want to treat my time here with a sense of mission. Right now is a time I'll never get back again. What should I be doing now that later in heaven I'll be glad that I did?

What about you? Are you willing to play? What are the areas God has called you to serve, or what are some needs in your area that you'd like to fill?

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