The Tangible Kingdom. A couple of days ago the day's lesson asked us to "Spend some time today in a busy place. Simply sit still and look at the faces that go past you. Imagine some of the things that might make up their life stories. Pray for them." As I sat contemplating (insert whining) about how this wasn't possible, since a small child was under my care and watchful eye, it hit me "Listen to yourself April. All you care about is me, myself, and I. When was the last time you actually cared about the people around you?"
According to the US Census Bureau there are almost 7 billion people living in the world today, 300 million of them live in the US. I make up 1/7 billion and my immediate family makes up 3/7 billion, I don't even want to attempt the math when it comes to getting that into decimal form. Somehow though I continue to live like the other 6,999,999,999 don't exist. Why is that?
I know my family is important and God has called me to take care of them. I also know there's no possible way for me to get to know or even attempt to know all the people on this planet, but where do I find the balance? Lately I've been so concerned about all the things I want to get done, or what my baby needs, or what would be best for my family that I've completely forgotten about everyone else. So I know what I'm doing isn't right, but how do I know when it's ok to guard time with my family and when I need to just give it a rest and go hang out with friends/neighbors? How do I teach my baby that she's important to me but she's not the end all be all for our family?
Last night one of the guys in our small group shared that he felt like God was saying the same thing to him lately. He said he felt like God was specifically saying to him "Stop looking in the mirror and start looking out the window." My prayer yesterday, today, and for a long time honestly, is that God would open my eyes up to see what He sees and that not only would I see but I would respond to what he's showing me. No more ignoring people because I don't want to make them uncomfortable (or let's be honest here, make myself uncomfortable), no more "to do" lists that make me so focused on all the things I have to do, that I don't stop to see God working in the faces around me.
Expect similar posts as this revelation continues to unfold, I'm not ignorant in thinking I won't continue to struggle with this the rest of my life, but I am hopeful that God can change my heart. Feel free to pass on any advice you've learned along the way too. I certainly know I'm not the only one trying to figure this whole "how to live life" thing.