(Before I begin this post, let it be known that poor John from Jesus Freak Hideout asked me in the fall of '08 to do a blog post for him. That was 2 and a half years ago! I don't know if he should get a prize for patience, or if I should get a prize for finally following through! At any rate, thanks for sharing your platform with me. I hope this becomes a regular thing! Here goes nothing... -Mark Lee, Third Day)
"Three billion people in the world, and I only know a few."
lyric from "Worldwide" by Adam Again (lyrics) (iTunes link)
A few weeks ago, Third Day
had the opportunity to travel to Brazil to perform a concert. Just a few days later we traveled to Haiti with World Vision
to see some of the work they are doing there. During the brief time at home between I mentioned the two trips to a friend of mine. He promptly replied "Man, you guys are going worldwide!" Now, being the musician I am, my brain will quickly connect statements it hears into song lyrics, and my internal stereo will start to play the corresponding song. It's great in a case like this when the result is a killer song like Adam Again's "Worldwide". Not so good when somebody uses "karma chameleon" in a sentence.
As I pondered the lyrics to this song, I could relate to the frustration that writer Gene Eugene must have felt. There were big problems in the world and horrible things happening for no apparent reason. He wanted to do something about them, but he didn't know where to start. And besides, the best you can hope for is for a few people to "put stickers on their bumper". There are still big problems in the world, not to mention the fact that there are now seven billion people instead of Gene's three. It's enough to make you want to throw your hands up in the air and give up.
But then I think of some of the other things we've seen as we've traveled "worldwide". We've seen the generosity of people working with groups like World Vision and Habitat for Humanity in places like Lesotho and South Africa, doing their own small part to make a difference. We've seen thousands of people in a field in New Zealand or a rock club in London, raising their hands in worship. We've seen people of different colors worshipping together in South Africa, singing praises to God in different languages. We've seen the passion of hundreds of thousands of people in Brazil, singing every word to every song of praise to God, again in a language I don't comprehend. And just recently we saw in Haiti worship being lead by a band of students who were all sponsored by World Vision.
I see things like this and I get fired up. Maybe I do only know a few people. But I take heart in the fact that I know God, and I've seen glimpses of what he's up to. I may not know all these people I see, but they all share my goal of knowing God. Yes, there are a lot of horrible things happening in the world. But God is also doing some amazing things all over the world, and he wants us to be a part of it. And that is an encouraging thought.
If the only thing that comes out of this post is that you track down and listen to the awesomeness that is "Worldwide", I say hang the banner, mission accomplished. But think about doing a little more. Try to see the world from God's perspective. We've drawn up borders creating different countries and the world expects us to only care about those within our own borders. To do this is to sell ourselves a little short. And God wants more. He wants us to think "worldwide".
Check out "Worldwide" by Adam Again (iTunes link
). Read Matthew 28:16-20, and pray for God to give you a "worldwide" perspective.