As I was driving to work this morning there was a thought that crossed my mind. In the past few days it has become apparent that I am not as conservative as some of my friends, and family. I mean I kind of knew that anyways, but it has become even more apparent in the last few days. As I was driving I was thinking about this, and how everything about the way I was brought up, and where I lived, where I went to church (Southern Baptist), all those signs point to me seeing the world with a very narrow minded view. All of those things one would think would make me just like those that grew up in the same fashion I did, mid-west roots, conservative values.
As I drove and thought about this, I went through some of my life choices. Maybe it was me being overseas, and the experiences I have had over there. Seeing first hand, experiencing first hand what it is like to be looked down upon because of your class, skin color, or beliefs. But my sisters I feel like see the world in a similar way and neither of them have ventured to live in the four corners of the earth. I also have friends that have lived overseas that are just as conservative and narrow-minded as those that have never left. So, what is it? What is it that allows me to see the world in this way that others don't? Why don't I hold to a flag the same way that my fellow Americans do? Is it because I am not patriotic? Is it because I was gone for so long during the time in my life that most likely would have shaped my sole American identity? I love America, I love that I was born in America, but I would die for a person from another country even a Middle Eastern country before I would die for a flag. I will never put a flag over valuing someone's life. It's not in me, and it is not who I am.
Everything about my life had the makings of a conservative, Southern Baptist Christian girl, but I am not your typical anything. I don't see the world the way that most do. I see people for who they are. I admit to myself that sometimes I am racist, sometimes I have prejudices, sometimes I hold my purse a little tighter when I walk in "that part of town." I admit those things to myself. But you know what I also admit to myself, that there is no way that I will ever agree that I am the best, or that my country is superior. Maybe God just chose to put this in me from early on, or maybe the experiences He has allowed me to have were to shape me into this person that is able to understand things from many different sides. If that is my one thing... I will take it!
I don't want to ever come across as being superior, because I don't think that is who Jesus was/is. He called people out, yes. But you know who He called out the most? The hypocrites, the tax collectors, people that were using their authority to take advantage of others. That's who He was calling out. Jesus wasn't one to just stand back and watch the world fall apart, He got into the midst of the pain and suffering. He took it on himself.
I guess today's post is really just to say that I am thankful. I am thankful that I was brought up the way I was, that I have been able to experience people of all kinds of backgrounds, nationalities, and political foundations. I am so thankful that I know just how lucky I am to be born in a place where people can kneel during the national anthem, and not get arrested or killed. I am thankful that I don't have to agree with everyone, and I am thankful that all of it can be done in love.
So for today, I look at my experiences, and see how things could have been very different. I am thankful for the grace I have been given, and the everyday opportunities I have to see things from more than one perspective.