Ever traveled somewhere and surprised yourself by falling in love with the place?
I love to travel, although most of the time when I hit the Nashville airport, it’s to go teach or lead a conference. I fly in, speak, and fly home to Nashville the next day. But I’ve had a few occasions that allowed for a longer stay—and a chance to actually get to know the people.
Kenya was just such a place. For six years in a row, I was part of a teaching team that would spend two weeks in Kenya training pastors. These were long days of teaching, and some years they included three hours of travel each day. On our “days off” we would speak in area churches. Full days. Tiring days. And I loved it.
I didn’t expect to like Kenya as much as I did. The people. The landscape. The culture. The first year I didn’t make the annual trek to Kenya, I found myself missing the place. In that moment, I realized how I genuinely felt for the Kenyans.
But one thing remained constant. I knew Kenya was not my home. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there, but I was only passing through. That didn’t lessen my desire to help and serve the people; in fact, that awareness made me a better servant.
But back in the comfort of my own home and community, I am… well, the problem is that word “comfort.”
- I plop in my big soft chair and watch TV for a moment—only to get up several hours later.
- I reserve time for my pet projects around the house and maybe to build another piece of furniture.
- I get lost in Barnes and Noble, going from aisle to aisle murmuring, “I want to read that … Oooh, I want to read that … “
None of these actions are necessarily wrong, but it would be far better if I kept my Kenyan mindset. This is not my home.
I was focused in Kenya. Our time there was limited to two weeks, and we had courses to teach, sermons to preach, and people to encourage. Yes, we took time to rest. I read. We even shopped on occasion, but those things were not our focus.
“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Ps. 90:12).
My days in Kenya were numbered, and I wanted to use them wisely.
For followers of Christ, this world is not our world. “Our citizenship is in heaven” (Phil. 3:20). When Peter wrote about how to live for Christ, he called us “foreigners and exiles” (2 Pet. 2:11). What does that mean?
- It doesn’t mean I’m compelled to never turn the TV on again.
- It doesn’t mean I’m compelled to sell my house.
- It doesn’t mean I’m compelled to never buy another book.
It means I will not let these things consume me nor take me away from my greater focus: to number my days and live wisely.
After all, I’m only passing through.
Related Post: Seize the Day
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This post supports the study “I Am Just Passing Through” in Bible Studies for Life.
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