I recently had two things happen to me.
The first was someone recently complaining about the flavors of the creamers available for the coffee at the church cafe. It was beyond simply disliking the choices available but even getting grumpy over them.
OKAY – it was ME! I wanted sugar free creamer. It wasn’t available. I was already feeling disgruntled with who knows what and this just irritated me. It is SO easy to get caught up in little things. It is so simple to complain and much easier than moving on when things don’t go our way.
The second was stumbling across an article about Christians being killed. They believe in God and face being killed. I can’t imagine dealing with this type of persecution as a Christian.
I have never faced fear to be a Christian or admit my belief in God. I know that people have died in America for being Christians and admitting so (such as Rachel Scott, in the Columbine shooting as just ONE example), but thankfully in our country we can generally wake up, go to church, and worship freely without fear of our lives being in danger for simply being a Christian and believing in Jesus Christ.
While not life threatening, I am generally given more hassle for my beliefs by fellow Christians than by non-Christians.
I’m that person that writes papers discussing why I don’t believe prayer should be mandatory in public school. Want to wish me Happy Holiday’s or a Merry Xmas? Bring it on – I don’t mind nor get offended. Which translation of the Bible is best? The one in which it tells us that we all sin. That we all fall short. The one where it is written that God loved us ALL SO MUCH He gave His ONLY Son a human life JUST to DIE for our sins. The translation in which Jesus is resurrected back to life so we can be forgiven – I like that one.
Yet, I’m also the person getting upset about coffee creamers. I am the person complaining I’m not getting my way or my wants met.
I have only ever even had the thought cross my mind once that being a Christian could even be slightly dangerous. On a Christmas Sunday, I went to a church in Orlando, FL to celebrate and worship with about 4000 other Christians. Apparently, the holiday and the venue and the building holding so many Christians at once raises the terrorist chatter and the threat level. The parking lot had scattered law officers throughout and the sanctuary had multiple armed guards at the doorways and in the halls. While this made me look twice, and stop and think, I never felt I was actually in any real danger. I was even more thankful that I live in America and have the freedom of religion and the defense systems we have in place to protect our citizens.
So, when I see articles like this, about the persecution of Christians in other countries it breaks my heart for them. Yet, it further drives home to me how lucky I am to be an American with the freedom and safety to worship. It makes me stop and remind myself that the type of coffee creamer available at church is a non-issue in the grand scheme of being a Christian. My way is not the top priority of being who I am called to be. I need to remember to not worry about the small things but focus on just loving others as Jesus commanded me to do.
My heart and prayers go out to these Christians, and so many around the world, that literally risk their lives to worship Jesus Christ. I would imagine they would be so thankful to come to church and worship without fear of being killed and they don’t care what kind of creamer is available upon escape from the dire circumstances in which they are living and dying.