Friday, August 12, 2011

Standing Room Only

I stood outside a 15'x15' blue shack yesterday and watched people from the Ramon Santana village pour in, infants to elderly, until our team gave up seats to watch from the door. One woman even walked up to the window to peek through the shutters under a hanging sign that read Por gracia soy salvo por medio de la fe, (By grace I am saved through faith). These villagers pack into this building two to three times a week under the direction of a native twenty seven year old named Isaac who had been traveling with us throughout the day to translate in Giovanni's absence. He started this church called Iglesia Bautista by himself when he was twenty two years old. When he told me that, my conscience or something greater elbowed me in the ear and whispered, "Yeah he planted, grew, and led the very first church in his own village when he was 22, that's called being bold you should try it."

In the movie Gladiator,  Maximus says to his soldiers, "What you do in life echoes in eternity." I wonder if the writers really knew the veracity of that statement when it was put into the script. When a man sees his end he wants to know there was some purpose to his life. How will the world speak his name in years to come? Will they talk about his riches? How many facebook friends he had? I hope not.

If you've ever studied astronomy or wondered about the expanse of time you may have thought about how small you seem in comparison to creation. Well, you are. Jesus Christ said it best: [What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. James 4:14]. What will you do in life that will have an effect on eternity? How will you use your mist before it vanishes? The Dominican Republic has taught me this: Rivers don't drink their own water. Trees don't eat their own fruit. Sun doesn't give heat for itself. Living for others is the law of Nature. You live, breathe, and die for the person next to you. I came to the DR to serve, but the service was reciprocated by these people three times as hard.

I didn't get into half of the things I wanted to write about tonight, so much has happened in the last two days. My layover in Atlanta should allow some time for that. I'm boarding a plane to come back to the states tomorrow. Sad to be leaving, but happy to spend a week in my own bed before starting the first semester of my senior year. Time has flown, and its become obvious that it can only be spent not saved. That will never change but the one thing I can change is how I spend it.

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