It is easy for us to get caught in an every day Groundhog Day. Like the Bill Murray movie, we can find ourselves and our families constantly living the same routine, going to the same places, and interacting with the same people.
If we take the time to stop and think about this, we end up filling our world and the worlds of our children with people who are just like us. We are likely of the same race, go to the same churches and schools, are in the same economic class, and have the same political views. We have not just created the repeating world of Groundhog Day; we have also created a world by us, for us, and many times surrounded by people just like us. When we live in a homogeneous world, we miss what God is doing in the world around us. As we seek to expand our view of the world, we will experience:
The Creativity of God. As we get to know people from different cultures and who live in different places, we see the creativity of God. He made all peoples and every culture in its own unique way expresses the beauty of its Creator.
The Depth of Need. When we go to another culture, we may see needs and opportunities where we can serve. We may have some resources, knowledge, and relationships that can be leveraged on behalf of others. We can be the hands and feet of Jesus to a needy world.
The Truth that Our Ways Are Not Always Best. In approaching another culture, we must come with a spirit of humility. We don’t know everything, and there is much that could grow in our own lives if we were willing to take the place of a student to learn from others. Experiencing other cultures helps us from falling deeply into the trap of believing that our ways are always the best and our world is the standard.
Let us look for everyday ways to break out of our little box of normal we have created to join God in what He is doing in the world around us. We will see God’s beauty, opportunities to join Him in mission, and can grow as we take the posture of a humble student.
Missions Minister at Christ Church Birmingham
Writer and Speaker