The very fact you’re reading this on a computer places you among the wealthiest of the seven billion or so people who inhabit the planet. While the evening news brings reports of devastation in Haiti or political uprising in Tunisia, most of you are enjoyed a much less stressful week.
I frequently visit The Ad Collector, a blog which features the best of advertising campaigns from around the world, with a special focus on adverts for non-profits and public service organizations. A month ago they featured a Swedish series of billboard-type display ads under the caption, The Lottery of Life which juxtaposed life in Sierra Leone, Darfur, Palestine and The Phillipines with life in Sweden, with the aim of getting people to visit a website sponsored by Save The Children. (If you have high-speed internet, enter your name and spin the wheel to see how things might have worked out differently.)
But is it just a spin of the wheel that you ended up in the UK, or the US, or Canada, or New Zealand, or some other less troubled place? I’m not a huge fan of this poem by Roy Lesson, founder of Dayspring cards — I can’t believe I’m actually posting it — because they tend to plaster it all over so many pieces of merchandise they create, including seasonal variants, but if you believe in the sovereignty of God, your geographic placement has to be more than just the random spinning of a giant wheel…
you’re here not by chance,
but by God’s choosing.
His hand formed you
and made you the person you are.
He compares you to no one else.
You are one of a kind.
You lack nothing
that His grace can’t give you.
He has allowed you to be here
at this time in history
to fulfill His special purpose
for this generation.
Notice I did not say, “if you had been born somewhere else;” because some would argue that then you would not be you. Nonetheless, you are a product of your environment generally, and its geography in particular. This ought to fill you with much gratitude to God, especially in light of these pictures which remind you of the conditions in all the other places around the world. Conditions that exist right here, right now, even as you sip your beverage in a comfortable chair reading these lines…
So what is our response?
Photo captions: Hold your mouse over each picture for the caption; or, respectively the pictures are Sierra Leone, Darfur, Palestine and The Philippines.