I enjoyed spending some of our first few days in Africa talking with our neighbor, Patrick, and his wife, Lois. During one conversation, Marc and I were sharing with Patrick about the wonders of dishwashers (yes, just put the dishes in, press a few buttons, and they’re clean!) and clothes washers. He was amazed that such things were possible. Indeed, the many differences between America and Africa are striking. I was amused to see a pictoral representation of this in a grade-school workbook that we are currently using in our Swahili studies:
Although here in Africa our family has a home and some amenities that are not typical of the native Kenyan, at the same time we are striving to integrate into the community such that we are not obviously “set apart.”
Though one might be tempted to feel sorry for these folks, that they can’t enjoy so many of the conveniences that we have as Americans, I actually think that a simple life of non-accumulation is to be envied. After all, Jesus said that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Likewise, I believe that worldly attractions often blind us to the blessing of Kingdom simplicity. Unfortunately, from what I perceive of Africans thus far, they instead covet the American life and strive to imitate it in as many ways as possible.
Lord, give us eyes to see and hearts to receive the Gospel of Your Kingdom. Let us enter by the narrow way and help us to willingly set aside all those things which hinder us.