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Monday Motivator - Living Among Others
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Monday Motivator - Living Among Others

September 30th, 2008 · 13 Comments

Weekly motivation pieces from Mike Olejarz of Chi Alpha. Be challenged and encouraged!

Barbara and I visited our daughter Sarah in Lima, Peru at the end of August. Sarah is serving a one year assignment as a Missionary Associate with Bill and Lena Shrader, who direct Latin America Child Care (LACC). I was the state director of Chi Alpha while in Ohio and was a mentor to Bill for many years. It was a great week of seeing our daughter, catching up with the Shraders, seeing what LACC looks like, and doing a lot of sightseeing.

One of the powerful experiences of being in Lima was being exposed to the 8 million inhabitants of the largest city in the country. Everywhere we went we saw multitudes of people, cars, traffic jams, congestion, and poverty. It was tiring being out and about and around so many people. I found myself at one point wishing for a place and time of solitude.

I could not sleep on the long flight to the United States and thought about being a hermit for a bit when I got home. A few days later, I read an article in the travel section of a paper about a 150 year old estate in New England that was available to rent for personal retreats. I wondered about going there once a semester for a weekend getaway with the clothes on my back, a gallon of water, and my Bible.

What would you do if you had the chance to be a hermit? You could avoid people altogether, take naps when you wanted, roam the countryside, meditate and memorize Scripture. Traditional hermit roles include acting wise and/or grouchy, and even frightening people if they get too close to your habitat.

I can certainly see the benefits of practicing solitary time with God. But He did not call us to be hermits. Read 1 Peter 2:11-12. The apostle Peter wrote a letter that gives great advice on how to live a holy life in the world without becoming a recluse. He said to his readers in Asia Minor, “Live such good lives AMONG the pagans, that…they may see your good deeds and glorify God” (verse 12).

The key word Peter used is “among.” If we pull away from people/society and create our own little hideaways, we miss the message Peter was delivering. Peter (and Jesus) calls us to influence the people and world around us.

Many of us wish we could hide from society and our God-given responsibility to make a difference in it. We are timid and even intimidated at times about living out our faith on campus and in the marketplace. We wonder how we are supposed to proclaim Jesus to the world around us without getting caught up in the ways of the world.

It is possible that we will suffer for living lives that honor God (1 Peter 3:14). Yet 1 Peter 3:15 says “to make sure that Christ is your Lord and be ready to represent him.” Instead of isolating ourselves from the darkness and pain in society, we need to shine the light of Jesus so that others can see. That is why Sarah chose to serve the people of Lima, Peru. That is also why you and I are on campus. After all, we’re called to be a city on a hill, not a cave in the mountains. Walk Wisely.

Love is a verb,
Mike O.

P.S. Join us this Friday, October 3, 6:30-8:30 pm for Pizza Theology (PT) in Rm 491 of the MIT Student Center. PT is our monthly program of free pizza and a chance to bring your toughest questions about faith, God, and Christianity and get some answers.

Tags: Blog · Monday Motivators · Uncategorized

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