Thursday, January 17, 2008

A Day Eight Reflection: Tension by CHARLES WEST

Today we discussed the issues of women rights and the problems they face in developing countries. A representative also visited us from the ONE campaign, which was definitely more in the form of political advocacy, but was very interesting to hear because few of us in the class have seen these issues dealt with from such a perspective. I think this will benefit us greatly because I feel as Christians we often narrow our options and exclude possibilities for solving world issues simply because they are secular, which only restrains us from achieving our full potential. All of these problems we have looked at can be improved through many different strategies, which can easily become a problem because now we have organizations sharing a common goal that are in fact competing with each other. People with good intentions are torn between these organizations and are confused at where to give their resources, which can serve as a detriment to the original goal of helping those in need. This has been a main source of my frustration over the past week.

After reading the other blogs posted, I realized the common issue is these unanswered questions that are so difficult to deal with. As our day progressed, I could sense the frustration others were feeling as we were given more questions to wrestle with on top of the other 7 full days of questions. The harsh reality is that there are no answers to these questions, which is a hard concept to accept because we have seen the suffering and great need for help. Justin talked about this tension being deliberately placed in our lives so that we can be used as tools for the Kingdom of God and I couldn’t agree with more. This tension often attracts the majority of our attention and blinds us from the action we are called to take.

The next step, which I find to be the hardest, is deciding what action we are being called to take. This is phase where the act of sacrifice is taken to varying extremes, which in my opinion is actually OK. If not used as an excuse, I’m a firm believer that some people are left with more of an imprint on their lives to make a change than others, and their actions will show it. After going to Africa, I realized we must learn to forget the unanswered questions and never forget learning the unquestioned answers. This is working back to my original point that if we learn to accept these issues for what they are, then we will be enabled to push beyond the tension and be given the sight of God’s calling for our lives.

Ephesians 1:11…Charles West

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