Sitting in an open-aired dining hall in Ruaha National Park, it felt like I was in a dream. We were off the grid in Tanzania, Africa with no Internet, no cell service and the ride to the nearest town was three to four hours. Lanterns lit the room as we dined next to a roaring river, and monkeys skittered across the rafters hoping to get dibs on our leftovers. That evening, I sat next to the supervisor over the entire safari guides and for the purpose of this story, we will call him Edward. As dinner progressed and the others at the table chattered among us, Edward and I began a conversation that gave me an interesting perspective. We talked about family, jobs, travel and faith, sharing stories of life’s lessons and disappointments. It was very evident to me that he was very intelligent, academically speaking, but that he also harbored a wealth of wisdom. Finishing his dessert, he leaned back in his chair stroking his beard.
“You know, I spent the first part of my life in the rat-race of the stress of world and the demands it brings. The news would distract you and make you feel like it was the end of the world and make everything urgent and demanding. One thing I’ve learned out here living without Internet, television, and rare cell service is this: no matter what is going on in the world, every morning I wake up and the sun is always there to greet me. It puts things into perspective of what is really important and that this is the life you’ve been given today.”
This morning, I was reminded of his words and how they struck a chord in me. Edward’s story shows how we as humans can become distracted, pulled to-and–fro, by what is in front of us at any moment—but God is constant. That every morning, without fail, the sun and “The Son” are seated above us, and the Earth is still spinning in its perfect axis.
I write all this because I would like to encourage you today to go “off the grid.” Now, I am not saying to be oblivious to what is going on in current events, because the Bible clearly tells us to be aware of the times and seasons. But I want to encourage you today to not let current events side-track you from what God has called you to do on the earth! If you can be put in a “rut” because of what you see on Facebook or the media, then how does that aide in you being a light in the world? How can you be a light in the same world that causes you to be depressed? Choose each day to see the sun in the sky and let it be a reminder that there is a God in heaven that has a purpose for this new day! Spend less time on FOX, CNN and Facebook, and spend some quiet time with him and hear what HIS plans are for the world at this hour. I dare you to go “off the grid” for even an hour and replace it with time abiding in Jesus; worshipping Him and reading his word.
My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the LORD is to be praised.
And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.