It's amazing what a change of scenery will do. I highly recommend it. It's true that many will not be able to experience the extent of the change that I've been fortunate to experience, but anything is a step in the right direction. A month or so back I made a move from a years old tradition of a beachside Starbucks view to a smaller urban neighborhood caffeinated venue. The change has been good. This week I am tagging along with my wife on her conference at the happiest place on earth. No, I'm not in Cleveland...I am right in the heart of the realm of the mouse.
Disney world is indeed everything that the name implies. It is another world. Many will disagree and charge me with being part of the "1 percent" and for this week I'm certainly
Ok with that. After all, I am sitting here, lakeside in a gorgeous resort, typing mindlessly on my iPad, so I can't reasonably deny the charge. I could ignorantly claim that I deserve this, or I earned it or whatever...but that's not true at all. I don't deserve or earn anything except to be more responsible to those around me. In the book of books that tells the story of my faith, I am told that to whom much is give, much is expected. That speaks directly and sincerely through all of the temporary sunshine, shorts, and mouse ears that I'll encounter this week.
Interestingly, I find the longer I am part of this, the more I am drawn to consider past and future experiences in Central American villages where the simple act of drawing water to drink is not so simple at all. I have a refillable mug, purchased at the beginning of this time away so that I can, at anytime I wish, wander through the resort watering holes and grab a carbonated or caffeinated beverage of my choosing. Ironically, I'm staying in a Latin American themed resort that repeatedly reminds me of the people that we've enchanted and will encounter who have no such luxury. Some of my time here is being spent wrestling with the theological questions born from a final semester of graduate school. Questions like the purpose or point, if any, of sin and suffering that are quick to inspire doubt in the goodness or greatness of God.
I, like everyone else, have two possible responses to the questions. I can choose to wring my hands and helplessly loose all faith in a good and loving God. I can run the other way, full of doubt or denial. I can angrily shake my fist and decide that a God who allows this is no God at all. Or.... I can ask, what are the implications for me. What is my responsibility?
Instead of asking God where He is in all of this, I can hear him asking me where I am in all of this. What am I prepared to do?
For now, I'm grateful for the change in location. I intend to use it for good. As for the refillable mug, I'll pray that, in addition to far too much diet coke, it'll be filled with prayers, peace, and the remembrance of my responsibility to those in a much different location today.