I’ve lived in Kansas most of my life. Should you’ve by no means been to Kansas, let’s save a while and get all of the jokes out of the way in which:
- No, there aren’t tornadoes day-after-day.
- I don’t personal any ruby slippers and have but to see a flying monkey.
- We even have buildings and highways within the midst of the wheat and corn.
- We do have electrical energy and Wi-Fi and Starbucks and vehicles and high-definition TVs.
- Locals received’t chuckle if you happen to make a “not in Kansas anymore” joke.
Sure, to many of the world, my dwelling state is one you usually drive by means of and fly over. I get it: We don’t have mountains or seashores or enormous cities or noteworthy landmarks. I keep in mind type of despising my hometown of Wichita rising up. In comparison with the remainder of the world, Wichita appeared boring and unremarkable. I dreamed of transferring to an enormous, thrilling metropolis like New York or Chicago the place actual issues occurred.
Belief Us: We’re Cool!
In recent times, Wichita has skilled a little bit of a rebirth. Seemingly out of nowhere, our native artwork scene has grown considerably. Cool structure is bobbing up downtown. Our metropolis flag has turn into a classy staple on hipsters’ hoodies and housewives’ purses. This week our downtown enviornment is internet hosting a number of NCAA event basketball video games, and visitors are flooding in from all over. A number of magazines and web sites have taken discover, and an general sense of pleasure appears to be abruptly sweeping my metropolis. Who knew: Wichita is definitely type of cool — and it’s in Kansas!
I’m not right here to persuade you of our coolness (however actually — we’re cool!). Relying on the place you’re from, you may suppose the identical about your hometown. Possibly it barely reveals up on maps, or perhaps you are from a enjoyable place the place folks love to go to. Both method, you most likely really feel at the very least slightly sense of pleasure. In any other case exceptional or not, there’s one thing particular about your house.
After all this isn’t new. That sense of identification out of your hometown is even evident in Scripture. The apostle Paul was also known as “Paul of Tarsus,” and Jesus himself was usually referred to as “the Nazarene” primarily based on his childhood dwelling of Nazareth. There’s a well-known story within the gospel of Luke the place Jesus is educating in Nazareth and the native leaders refuted him. I’m no biblical scholar, however don’t you suppose Jesus felt at the very least a touch of harm and disappointment when He stated, “No prophet is appropriate in his hometown” (Luke 4:24)?
As of late lots of people don’t find yourself spending their complete lives in the identical city like they did generations in the past. Identical to anything, I additionally suppose it’s wholesome to not maintain on too tightly to a particular geographic location. If God calls you elsewhere (like He did to Abraham and others all through Scripture), you need to be keen and able to pack up and depart. Nonetheless, I believe it’s wholesome and useful to personal and take pleasure in your hometown, for at the very least two causes.
I’m a agency believer in abroad missions and supporting simply causes all over the world. I proudly sponsor a baby by means of Compassion Worldwide and wholeheartedly help organizations and causes aiming to enhance the lives of individuals whose conditions are far worse than ours at dwelling. The world is way, a lot bigger than your zip code, and I believe it’s wholesome and vital to maintain a worldwide perspective.
Nonetheless, I additionally consider that your largest and most important affect is completed regionally. Writing a verify or briefly serving abroad is nice, however you’ve got an opportunity to make an actual distinction within the lives of the folks you see day-after-day. Your neighbors and associates and baristas and classmates get an up-close take a look at your life, and the way in which you work together with and deal with them has the potential to be your biggest witness.
Once I learn the headlines as of late, it’s clear to me our communities want type faces and pure hearts keen to befriend outcasts and shine mild by means of the darkness. Once you hunker down and actually spend money on your city, you’ve got a possibility to make a real distinction. It could not really feel as rewarding as writing an enormous verify or taking an Instagram-worthy selfie with orphans in Honduras, however I consider massive change can occur over time on the native stage, and that begins with you wherever you’re.
Paul (of Tarsus) famously wrote in Philippians 4:11: “I’ve discovered in no matter scenario I’m to be content material.” Whether or not you reside within the trendiest neighborhood in California, a picturesque cabin in Colorado or a very-not-so-exciting residence in South Dakota, you’ve got management over your angle. Paul says “in any and each circumstance” (v. 12), the key to achievement is contentment.
A clever chief as soon as inspired me to “prosper the place you’re planted.” Possibly you’re hoping to “get out of Dodge” prior to later, or perhaps you’ve got your eye on a brand new job or alternative in a brand new metropolis. I believe that’s effective; nonetheless, within the meantime profit from the place you’re. Do the arduous work of studying to be content material when it isn’t straightforward. Should you’re not tremendous thrilled along with your environment, do what you possibly can to make it a greater place. Be a witness and an envoy for Christ wherever you end up. Be a blessing to your neighborhood, regardless of how cool or unexciting it appears.
Do you marvel how Paul was in a position to stay content material despite being overwhelmed, imprisoned, ridiculed and certain murdered? He shares the key a number of sentences later in a verse you most likely have highlighted: “I can do all issues by means of him who strengthens me.”
OK, so perhaps your city doesn’t have a Goal or perhaps it does have an overabundance of stoplights. Both method, you’ve most unlikely to face the obstacles Paul was in a position to overcome. And even if you happen to do face these trials, the Bible is filled with verses like these, reminding us that something is feasible with the power out there to us by means of Jesus.
So whether or not you end up in Hutchinson or Honolulu, Mayberry or Minneapolis, God has planted you there at this second for a motive. He’s marked out good work so that you can do there (Ephesians 2:10). And who is aware of? Possibly God purposely has you there “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14).
I’ve an excessive amount of pleasure to finish a publish like this with a tacky bumper sticker phrase like “House is the place the center is” or (even worse) “There’s no place like dwelling.” So as a substitute, come go to Kansas. Simply look out for the flying monkeys.