As I mentioned in my previous blog post, I am currently reading Radical by David Platt. As I work my way through this book, I find myself continuing to digest my February experience in the Central African Republic in order to somehow connect the realities of what I saw with my daily life on a radically different continent. One concept that came out of the book that is helping revolves around the belief that there is an honest disconnect here in North American between God's blessing (as we define it) and His divine purpose for our lives.
For those of us who have seen and experienced (even if for a very short time) the poverty so many within our world live in, we cannot help but wrestle with the question "Why did God bless me and allow me to live in North America?" We have fresh water, food to eat, the American dream to pursue etc... For many of us, we spend a lifetime grappling with this concept because you never go to your refrigerator or step into a hot shower without some tinge of guilt when you think about how the rest of the world lives.
On the flip side, we spend millions within our culture seeking to explore our purpose in life. Whether we do so with a spiritual perspective or not, so many daily wrestle with why they exist and long for life to have some sort of meaning. This is as true in the church as it is anywhere else. People who fill the pews speak often of trying to find meaning and purpose in their current level of education, promotion at work or the latest vacation home purchased for retirement 30 years down the road. And yet, they grapple as well because this stuff just doesn't lend itself to the longings of our hearts that cry out for divine purpose.
Is it possible that we need to make a connection point with these two concepts? Is it possible that the simple answer is this; God has blessed us in North America so that we can connect, merge and mesh it together with God's ultimate purposes for our lives. Is it possible that you have received a fine education to use it somewhere else in the world for God? Is it possible that God has blessed you financially so that you can have your one home and spend the rest on helping others place some sort of shelter around them? Is it possible that you have been gifted in an area (finances, medicine, handyman, music, teaching, leading, administrating etc...) for the purpose of not only earning a living here in North America but rather to be used somewhere else in the world.
If we are all about bringing glory to God (which I'm not sure we are in the American church), we must connect the dots between God's blessing and His divine purpose for our lives. Life is too short and too many people still need to experience the tangible love of Christ around this globe for us to have a disconnect in this area. Something worth chewing on I believe...