Flags from around the World
John 3:16 NIV
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
The summer I turned twenty, I traveled and studied abroad. After six weeks of classwork in Bregenz, Austria, my friends, Carmen and Donnie, and I traipsed around Europe on Eurorail passes. We became expert at stretching our money until the very end of our trip; however, we were all down to our last coins on the final days we were to head back home.
We were traveling through France to England via the hovercraft boat. Our last evening in France, we walked upon a town fair. Small rides for children were set up, and families mingled with each other. As we walked past the fair, the unmistakable aroma of hot pop corn grabbed our imaginations, and all we could think about was that pop corn. We followed our noses to a small booth. My mouth watered. My stomach growled. After a day of very little food, I anticipated the salty crunch of the pop corn.
I lay down my last francs and bought a small bag. I cradled it in my hands, reached into the bag, took a large handful, and stuffed my mouth. Whereupon I swiftly looked for a place to spit it out. To my surprise, the popcorn was not salty, but rather it had been coated with sugar.
My taste buds short-circuited due to the conflicting messages my brain sent. Yes, it wanted pop corn, but no, not sugared corn. Salty corn.
I wanted to cry. I had spent my last coins on a dish my American sensibilities would not allow me to eat. My disappointment followed me as I continued my path to the hovercraft.
How many times in life has something looked familiar to me and then, close up, I realized I didn't know it at all. People are like this. Some are exactly how I thought they would be, and others are nothing like I imagined, and I can't get away from them fast enough.
Although there are times I have trouble with the variety of personalities I encounter during the day, God has His arms outstretched to all of us. He loves all of the folks around me and desires a relationship with them.
Sometimes it's hard for me to remember this truth as I look at people and decide whom I will become friends with. All I can do is pray for others. Even if their personality is too sweet or salty to my tastes, they are a child of God.
People come in all flavors in life, and they are all desirable to the Lord.
Lord, thank you for loving us all.