It is almost too easy to think locally. The immediate is here, now. The urgent is right before our eyes. If we shut our minds we can almost push any and everything non-local out of sight. Reading any paper and you will find most things are local. It can be interesting and enlightening to compare. Today in Kenya one of the major headlines centers on a parliamentary bill that would allow private guards to carry weapons. In England a recent concert and extreme anti-social behavior fight for top position. In each location the headlines change yet again.
Where should we look? Is life ever totally focused on one thing? Should sports dominate? How about local issues? Is there a single global issue that demands our full attention? What combination comes to the top? Can one balance competing demands for our thought and action?
The question of where to look is a valid one. One must choose the values and priorities that are important in life. The process of holding onto these is never easy. It requires prioritization, focus, and commitment. To be extremely successful one must have a partnership with Divinity. So the question of the scope of our vision and action is valuable.
Perhaps the answer lies in something more important than any issue. The scope of our vision is relatively simple – the community in which we live. People are at the heart of our focus. People are at the center of who we are. Relationships are food nurturing the soul. Relationships, wherever we have them, anywhere they exist with us, and even a step beyond are the boundaries to our scope and vision.
When I look through this filter I find myself praying for people in Finland, Norway, Netherlands, England, Scotland, India, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Japan, Australia, Brazil, France, the U.S., and a little village known as Walton on Thames. An old prayer is my prayer; “I'm praying not only for them [believers] but also for those who will believe in me [God] because of them and their witness about me.” (John 17.20)
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