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Sunday, February 04, 2018

My Birthday Request

" every region of the world today there is a 
Christian heritage that we need to learn from." 
Miriam Adeney (taken from "God's Foreign Policy") 

As birthday greetings come in from around the world on my birthday (Feb 5), I am reminded of the great privilege it is to have friends in every corner of the world. Many of them come from cultures and with personal narratives very different from my own. But each represent a small piece of the richness I feel as I celebrate this special day. 

I have been thinking about that great blessing in my life, and I decided that for this birthday I would share that with each of you. No, I'm not going to share my friends and connections with you today (Even though I'm always excited to help people connect.). That is not what I had in mind. 

Instead, for my birthday, I would like to give you this gift in the form of a request to each of you reading this post:

"Will you stop what you are doing right now and learn something about someone you know who comes from a different cultural/geographical/socio-economic background than you do?"
  • You might think of a co-worker from a different country and Google it to learn a new fact.
  • Or if you are having coffee with a friend from another part of your country today, ask them some questions about their unique experience in person.
  • Maybe you will stop and talk to someone who is living on the streets and have a simple conversation. 
  • If you support an orphanage or local organization in another country, you might look up that country in Operation World to learn about what it is like for believers there. 
Whatever you decide to do, would you take a moment to do it and then post a reply to this blog post with a quick sentence about what you learned? 

I have no idea what God will show you as you take time to learn from others. But I can promise you this: 
  1. Learning usually leads to humility, understanding and insight.
  2. Your new insight will allow you to be a better friend and engage the world more effectively.
  3. As you learn from others, your life will be blessed in ways that neither you or I can imagine!
I look forward to hearing what you learn. 


Anonymous said...

Hi Jon, happy, happy birthday! This past weekend I took a class on "Listening," a value in Benedictine spirituality. It was taught by my friend Mary, a Sister at St. Benedict's in St. Joseph, Minn. One thing I learned is instead of asking, "What is God's will that I should do?" ask "What is the loving thing [to do]?" -Johanna F.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jon. Travelling in my country here showing host country board members the ministries that our expat colleagues are involved in. Much to learn as board members from one part of the country learn about another part of the country as they interact with a diverse group of foreign workers. Love our intentional diversity! Phil