Saturday, July 03, 2004

called to africa.

i was reading a book last night and it was one of those times where it seemed as though everything i read was coincidental with what has been going on around me. now, i don't mean necessarily that i felt like God was telling me something or teaching me a lesson through reading this author (who's a christian). i mean it was the kind of coincidence that freaks you out. i cannot explain it in this blog, b/c it would be like trying to convince you how ironic things in my life have been lately and that would be just too hard to try and sort out here. anyways, one thing i read from this book that jumped out at me was this Bono quote from when he spoke at Wheaton College in december of 2002. he was talking about the aids epidemic in africa and how he believes God is calling people, especially christians to help out and care for these victims. he said something like what's going on in africa is not a cause, but rather, an obligation or absolute need or "emergency" and of course, i read on feeling very guilty for caring little, thinking less, and doing next to nothing about what was going on over there. i'm an impulsive person, yes that's true...but rarely do i read stuff like this and feel the pressing urge to go to africa (quit whatever future plans i have) and commit my life to serving the sick there. slowly, the thought of graduate school and my future plans and goals and dreams seemed a little shallow when weighed against 2.5 million people infected with aids in africa. i began to feel guilty, and then sick, and then wondered how much of my life i'm investing in the visible world while the invisible world is screaming for my action or my response to it. it's weird how backwards everything is in life...and how far our world is from God's design. when you think about death and dying, things seem to fall more in line with God's design...and this seems to be almost across the board of human perspective (at least here in the west). like the author noted in the book i was reading last night, funerals are a funny thing. people--at funerals--- usually don't include words or speeches or poems or eulogies containing phrases like "he sure had a lot of money" or "boy did she have a beautiful house" or "wasn't she so incredibly beautiful...even for a 90 year old?" people usually remember (if they can) how kind or loving or generous or forgiving or gracious or merciful or compassionate a person was. they see greatness or rather, a successful life defined by these attributes and then some. however, why is it then our world operates on the opposite (lust, greed, the love of money, selfishness, me,me,me)/get,get,get)? for instance, i can spend all my money on music, movies, books, clothes even though i know perfectly well that no one will really care a lick (hopefully not at least) about these things after i'm dead. i know, but don't often think about how so much i'm chasing after for will not matter at all in 75 years. the world will keep moving and people will keep growing old and continue dying. we can try to prevent aging or minimize pain like our society has been trying to do for the past 10 years, but deep down, we know the inevitable will come. then why, do i and so many others continue living pretend-lives that when you examine from a step back, appear as though we don't realize the inevitable will come? i know i sound like i'm blasting materialism, and i suppose, perhaps i am somewhat. but i'm also wondering why i think very little about serving others continuously or why i spend almost all of my money on me and no one else (here and there i give a gift, but even that can be selfish in some ways).

i have nothing more to say so i guess i will end with a beautiful quote that sums up i suppose my entire thinking or rather, where it needs to end up at. Albert Schweitzer once said, "I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve."

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