Saturday, September 19, 2009

A Last Reflection - Not So Different ...

As I come to the close of the week since returning from Romania (1 week ago), I want to give one last reflection. At the beginning, seeing those reflections looked a little like the mirror in my kids' bathroom that needs to be cleaned. :) Since then, I've unpacked my suitcase, shared with the women of our church, written thank you notes, dreamed at night about the women I met, and prayed over the names I brought home in my heart. I also welcomed a new niece, Liliana, into the world ... who happens to have the same beautiful name as one of the dear women I worshiped with last week in Paltinis. So much "transfers" in life as common in every place, like birth and trials and friendship. Today I want to close my week of reflections by declaring that, though we speak different languages (hate that Tower of Babel incident!) and have different customs, we are not so different, and neither are God's purposes for our lives.

First I'll start with a difference: Jeff and I love to drink coffee ... as an activity. :) The sidewalk cafes of European cities are great places to enjoy coffee together, with the bonus of watching and learning as people pass by. "This" we have in common with our Romanian brothers & sisters. But ... we also like to take a large cup (Jeff likes a venti) of coffee to go, so we can walk and sip and talk and watch. Didn't find a single "to go cup" in Romania! Nope. There, you sit and receive a much smaller ceramic cup that forces you to sit, sip small, and savor. Forces you to stop your hurry, slow down, get comfortable, and make a smaller thing last longer. Not very American. :) But, I think it's rather Biblical. I like it. Jeff wanted a big to go cup. :)

But we are not so different. In one session with my women, we were focusing on the "Urgency" of the times, why it matters so much that we learn to walk worthy of our calling in Christ Jesus NOW. It was a message current to the Thessalonians, is current to the Romanians in 2009, and is current to Americans in 2009 ... maybe more than ever. As the women shared their ideas of what makes us vulnerable to unfaithfulness, this is what they shared:

envy ........... comparison ......... ideas of other people ....... worry ...... family .... lack of affection ...... appearance ......... insecurity ......... lack of gratitude ....... discontentment

No matter the time or culture or language, we deal with the same challenges to be faithful. These were the same attacks Satan used to draw the Israelites, God's chosen people, into the "ruin" of dirty lives that He illustrated with a pure linen sash ... a scarf ... in Jeremiah 13:1-11. These are the same attacks Satan uses today to try to derail us. His consistency should help us. God calls us to be clean in the world for the sake of His name. Same calling whether we are in Romania or in Knoxville or wherever.

Matthew 5:13-16 (NASB)

You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

It's a message from an ancient page, but it has a current application for those who adorn the name of God in any place! I'm going to sit and sip a cup of coffee and just think about that. :)

Blessings to you for a sweet Lord's Day tomorrow ~

1 COMMENTS ~ Click here to leave a COMMENT:

Kristi_runwatch said...

I've so enjoyed reading your Romania series!! I'm with Jeff about the tiny coffee cups, although I'd love to sit and savour some with you. ;)