Warmest greetings to you there for the New Year from Martha and myself. We trust and pray that you had a very blessed Christmas time with family and friends.
Talking of Christmas, I was just reflecting on the difference between the Christmas seasons here in Australia and the one in the CIS countries where the Slavic Gospel Association ministers. Here, we will have been complaining about the heat, but over there, many will have been struggling with the snow and intense cold. Something most of us here in Australia have no real understanding of the difficulties and dangers such extreme cold conditions can wreak, because we have never personally experienced it as an “insider”.
This insider understanding reminded me a little of one occasion in South Africa, (whose climate was not that dissimilar to Australia’s), when we were in this remote rocky, hilly but otherwise very beautiful, valley, and I remarked to one of the locals on how beautiful it was, only to have him remark that it may be beautiful to visit, but it was not so beautiful if you had to live there and to try and grow crops and graze livestock for a living.
So here he was, seeing things as a resident and Insider, while I was seeing things as an outsider and visitor: Both of us were seeing the same thing, but from different perspectives. In truth, what we were both seeing, was only a part of the wider picture and neither of us saw, or even cared about, the perspective of anyone else. With both views being equally one-sided and incorrect!
What about you when you see this world in which we all live today? Do you see it as a resident and are simply trying to make a living and not worrying about anyone else? Or perhaps, you see it just as a visitor and just seeing the beauty and ignoring the hardships of others? Again: Both ways of viewing things is not how God would have us as His Children behave. So, as we enter into this New Year, let us again be thankful for all that the Lord has given us and share our blessings with others, wherever and whenever God shows us how.
Practically, there are many ways that you can do that and only you can know how to do that best, so I will leave that decision with you, but one way all of us can do something worthy for God, is to Pray. So again I would like to humbly encourage you to again spend time in prayer for those less fortunate than yourself, whether in other countries, or just here in Australia and in your own community.
Thank you and have a blessed New Year: Walter