Five Minute Friday scribblings, God, Life

World: Lessons of the World

New friends

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

My Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—WORLD. This largely unedited “rough draft” form of writing stretches this perfectionist, in the best of ways. I write for five minutes on a given topic. If you’re interested in learning more about 5-Minute Fridays, check out our hostess, Kate Motaung’s site. Or, click on the link at the bottom of this post. As you read my simpler Friday posts, I hope you’ll join in the conversation!

WORLD

I admit it. When I was a girl, I thought it would be cool to travel the world. I wasn’t sure how it would happen, but I dreamed of the experiences and seeing different places. I am pretty sure I idealized what it would be like to meet new people, live in different cultures and see amazing sights.

God didn’t have plans for me to make a trip around the world, but He’s given me opportunities to see certain parts of it.

A number of years ago, I had the privilege of visiting the Philippines with a missions team. I was so sure we were there to help them.

Delightful girls

Instead, God opened my eyes to so much more. I have so much materially. The believers I met there have such depth spiritually.

The way they served our team amazed me. Such whole-hearted kindness heaped upon us. In meals served, in meeting our needs. And in letting us come alongside them as they served the people in their communities.

At first, I was uncomfortable as I watched the people of the towns we visited. They loved us with simple abandon. They shared pieces of their lives with us. I tried not to share too much of my life in the respect of how much our family is blessed with. But I loved sharing lessons God was teaching me. And hearing theirs.

Special family

In that part of the world, families sometimes live in small shacks that sit next to mansions. My family is blessed with a moderate-sized home, according to US standards. As I shared pictures of my family, I included a dark photo of Peter crawling up a step. One lady commented about how big my home was. Her words played me. Never mind the fact that she couldn’t see the second story of our home in the picture.

God has given us much. I am convicted to realize I don’t use it all as wisely as I should for His glory. I am sometimes selfish with what He’s given us . . . when really? I should follow the example of the Filipinos I met and share lavishly, love lavishly.

Special friend

Even after all this time, I need to cultivate a heart that sees others’ needs . . . not just physically, but spiritually. A heart that sees the richness others have, in spite of physical circumstances.

~~~

Wow, that time went fast! Finishing up here: It’s so easy to want to look for things that are common in our physical world, but really, God has given His children more commonalities in what we yearn for and how we worship. He’s given us similar desires to follow hard after Him.

My too-short time in the Philippines changed me in terms of how I view life and all God’s given me, and most Americans. May we not become so caught up in how things look on the outside—both for us and for those in other parts of the world—that we miss the beauty He’s crafting on the inside. 

What about you? What have you learned from other cultures? If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

Visit Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday—World

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