The Beauty of Perspective
Did you know even the poorest of individuals today still have more than most 'high class' individuals had just a few centuries ago, in terms of physical possessions (i.e. car, tv, computer, size of house, etc.)?
This means today we must all consider ourselves very fortunate and blessed, right? Unfortunately that is not quite how our perspective seems to naturally operate.
In my last Sunday at Grace church before flying to Africa, Pastor Daniel Henderson defined discouragement as a "temporary loss of perspective." These words hit me hard on that Sunday, and have hit me even harder since arriving in Uganda.
In worldly terms, the children of Rafiki have great reason to be discouraged. Many of them have been abandoned and born into the worst circumstances imaginable. These children are orphans who have come from some of the most tragic situations we can imagine, and face some of the grimmest realities we can fathom in terms of life expectancy, educational opportunities, etc. However, I can say with 100% certainty, that they are truly the most joyful and content individuals I have ever been around.
So how is it they can not only forgive, and move past the tragic situation they were born into, but also rejoice and exemplify joy in it's purest form? They've conquered their spirit. These children have come to know Christ, and fully embraced the fruit of the Spirit God has promised to all believers. Their joy is not based on external, temporary items like getting a new toy, recognition, food, or money. It comes from their internal and ETERNAL identity in Christ.
The book of Genesis tells us God gave man dominion over the whole wide earth. Dale Carnegie points out this includes dominion over everything. Over my self. Over my thoughts. Over my fears. Over my mind. Over my spirit. Proverbs 16:32 adds that "He who conquers his spirit is mightier than he who taketh a city." What a powerful opportunity we have to control our very own perspective.
My perspective is vastly different than the children here at Rafiki because of what I have been exposed to with the fortune of growing up in a great family in a first-world country. I understand there are infinite blessings to this, but unfortunately, this perspective all too often tricks me into believing my joy and my spirit is controlled by external idols- such as making money, having a lot of friends, or even the success or stability of Managers On A Mission.
Fellow mini missionary, Katie Wilkins, already shared this in an earlier blog post, but it captures my thoughts and heart all too well not to share it again. It is from Katie Davis, a 22 year old woman who has moved to a village here in Uganda and adopted more than 20 kids.
"I've had people ask me why I think Africa is so impoverished, but these children are not poor. I, as a person who grew up wealthy, am. I put value in things. These children having no things, put value in God. I put my trust in relationships, these children having already seen relationships fail, put their trust in the Lord. This nation is blessed beyond any place, any people I have ever encountered. God has not forgotten them. In fact, I believe He has loved them just a little bit extra."
Lord Jesus thank You for the work You are doing through the Rafiki Foundation. Help us all to fill the God-sized hole in our hearts with You alone.
-Drew Boe, Founder, Managers On A Mission