So far I have been to Taiwan twice in my life. On both occasions that plane that I was traveling in was met on arrival by cameras, lights, reporters, and dignitaries. They lined the exit ramp and filled the usually empty area you walk through on the way to the hallways that lead one to passport control. I initially reacted like as if this was a bit much by my staff. A different reality landed as the crowd truly ignored me and in casual disgust looked right through me at those coming behind. I never quite understood what was happening however I knew my ego had painted a pictured in my mind that stretched way beyond reality.
As I passed through passport control and customs I found myself walking into a wall of flash-bulbs and shouts of encouragement from the crowd. My ego caught the experience and moved back up a notch only to discover that the crowd was looking to for someone else and gave me the encouraging words only because they did not want to miss a moment of adoration for the one they longed to see.
It wasn’t quite as extreme as this but lights, crowds, and action were all in play. Banners were out, the crowd was restless with anticipation, and they could care less who I was or what I represented. They wanted their man! It was hard not to be just a little jealous and yet I know that I would hate dealing with the constant attention and potential threats to my family. I also wonder how I would respond to being on a pedestal.
“The purity of silver and gold is tested by putting them in the fire; the purity of human hearts is tested by giving them a little fame.” (Proverbs 27.21)
I would like to believe that I would response with mercy and compassion. Frankly, I doubt it. Offer me bright lights and cameras? Help me respond to love and kindness, grace and acceptance and give that to others; this is real action and life.