Shine Like Stars!
When we return from a cross-cultural trip, the smallest things my get under our skin. You may be triggered by a friend complaining that her bedroom isn’t large enough. Or maybe your kids won’t eat their dinner. These things that may not have bothered you before, now trigger frustration.
Jodie experienced this frustration. Let’s listen in:
I was 19 when I went on my first cross-cultural mission trip. We spent our spring break sleeping in tents and taking cold showers, but had the amazing privilege of partnering with a church in Mexico on construction projects. It was a totally gratifying week as I used my limited Spanish to play games with the children. My life was changed that week as I saw poverty for the first time. I knew I wouldn’t look at the world the same way again.
We waved goodbye to our new friends and made the drive to southern California to spend a day at Disneyland. Within minutes of walking into Disney I knew I didn’t want to be there. My brain was still processing what I had experienced in Mexico and couldn’t handle watching people throwing so much money around. Didn’t they know that people just hours from here were suffering in poverty? I literally felt sick and angry. I left early and walked back to the hotel. Of course, there is nothing wrong with a Disneyland vacation, but my mind couldn’t handle it so soon after a life-changing cross cultural experience. I needed time to process what I had experienced.
If you are struggling with similar frustrations, we encourage you to talk to a leader in your church or a missionary you know. God wants you to take what you’ve learned on this trip and convert that to lasting change. The frustrations will diminish and will be able to take those passions and use them to glorify God.
In our passage today, God calls us to shine like stars in a warped and crooked generation. One of the things that set us apart as children of God is our lack of complaining, grumbling and arguing. May we serve as a great example to our friends and family.
God, Help me have grace with my friends and family. Remind me they didn’t experience what I did. I give my frustrations to you and ask you to turn them into passions that bring You glory! Help me shine like a star in this wicked world. Amen.
Think It Through: