April 5, 2014

A 7-year-old's journal

I began making entries in my first journal when I was 7 years old. My parents took my siblings and me on a trip out on the West coast of America.

It is fascinating to me what a 7-year-old notices. For example, when I wrote about what our hotel room was like, I mentioned that there was a toilet. I guess that’s an important detail to note…GASP...imagine if there were no toilet!!?

Initially, I wrote a lot about what I ate -- one morning, I had booggoos (bagels) and ongoos (orange juice). I was a great phonetic speller. LOL.

Oh, and check out the fantastic imagery in this short story: “When we went swimming…Todd (my older brother) dunked me under water. I came up crying. I coughed. Gunk came out. Yuck! I was wet. We went inside then.” I can see the inner writer in me emerging at this young age. ;)

But probably the most significant event of the trip was this: “We went to Mexico. Some children were begging us to buy some gum. I was sad. I wanted to help them! I left my money in the car, though.”

I still clearly remember the experience to this day. For the first time, I realized that not all children were like me. Some of them had to sell gum in the streets of Mexico to help provide for themselves and their families. And God began to develop in me a compassion for these children.

That small spark has grown over the years. Injustice in the world -- especially as it relates to children -- disturbs me to the very marrow of my bones. To me, that's a good thing. I hope I never stop being bothered by the effects of sin in this world or doing my best to combat the injustices I see.

Lately, I have been thinking about the two-fold importance of both my relationship with God and what I do in this world. Faith and works. The Bible says, "Faith without works is dead," and God has been laying on my heart lately how I can take more action with my faith...to push a bit further outside that ever-present "Christian bubble"...and my "comfort zone." I'm excited to see what's next.

One thing's for sure: following Jesus is an incredible adventure. :)

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