Today I sat on a bucket under a tree located between a small shack and a thirsting garden, and shared the gospel with a man living outside of Christ. As we sat there discussing the Bible, a troop of baboons looked on from a short distance. Meanwhile, the voices of Mariah Carey and Celine Dion drifted from a radio in a nearby hut. Then the entire Tanzanian air force (2 jets) flew overhead in what I am told was a show of military strength meant to impress the voters of the upcoming election.
It struck me that this was a very bizarre scene of juxtaposed images and sounds. Then I began to wax philosophical about the situation. The scene was representative of life in so many ways. Here are my observations:
•Our purpose in talking was to focus on God and to come to an understanding of His will. This, of course, is also the primary purpose for our very lives on this earth.
•Our location between the hut and the garden made me think of the tension that people feel as they search for the balance between home and work. Yet in the middle of it all we were currently focused on our spirituality.
•Situated in the shade of a tree, we were attempting to escape the heat of the sun. Likewise, there is refreshing coolness for the soul to be found in the Word of God. Also people do go to study the Bible to escape the heat… of the next life.
•The radio reminded me of the ever-present distraction that entertainment poses. While wholesome entertainment is not a bad thing, how many times does it distract us from more important or productive things? A little diversion is good for the heart, but there’s a balance to find.
•The jets reminded me of the world of politics and current events. While important, it too can distract us from our true purpose of conforming to a Christ-like image more and more each day. As we look at politics, we might be tempted to influence them in worldly ways rather than godly ones. World events may tempt us to rely on governments rather than God. Just something to consider.
•But what about the baboons? What did they contribute to the scene? Maybe they can just remind us of the people who try to monkey around with us. That can certainly be a distraction as we’re trying to focus on God.
Well that was just a glimpse into how my mind works. I hope you found it thought provoking and a little amusing. I guess the point is that there are always plenty of things vying for our attention. Let's make sure that God get's it first.
By way of update, Daniel’s report was followed up today with news of the man mentioned above being baptized. To see Daniel’s report with pictures and information about the baptism, please click here.