I don’t know if you know this, but I love music. I was riding in the car with my beautiful bride a couple of weeks ago and a new song by a guy named Matthew West came on. It’s called “My Own Little World.” I just want to share the lyrics with you:In my own little world it hardly ever rains, I’ve never gone hungry, always felt safe, I got some money in my pocket, shoes on my feet, In my own little world, Population: me. I try to stay awake during Sunday morning church, I throw a twenty in the plate, but I never give ’til it hurts. And I turn off the news when I don’t like what I see. It’s easy to do when it’s population: me.
I must admit that when I first heard it, I thought it was just a really catchy song. But the next time it came on, I really listened to the words. I also must confess that I immediately thought that I didn’t do the things that were mentioned. But then I realized that I have lived my whole life in my own little world with a population: me. The chorus goes like this: What if there’s a bigger picture? What if I’m missing out? What if there’s a greater purpose that I could be living right now outside my own little world?
That’s a lot of us, isn’t it? Living comfortably inside our own lives, oblivious to what’s going on around us. Let’s put some depth into this thought. Did you know that if you have food in your fridge, clothes on your back, and a place to sleep—you’re richer than 75% of the world? If you have money in the bank, your wallet, and some spare change in your pocket, you are among the 8% of the world’s wealthy. If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are blessed because over one million people will not survive the week. If you’ve never experienced the dangers of battle, the agony of prison or torture, or the horrible pangs of starvation, you are luckier than the five hundred million people who are alive and suffering. If you can read the statistics I’ve just given, you’re more fortunate that the three billion people in the world who can’t read at all.
Humbling isn’t it? The song concludes like this: “Father break my heart for what breaks Yours. Give me open hands and open doors. Put Your light in my eyes and let me see, that my own little world is not about me.” It’s scary to think how many opportunities we’ve had, and how many we’ve blown to show the world Jesus. James says it like this:
“If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. 27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.“ (1:26-27).
I challenge you this week to look outside your life. Stop and help that guy you see holding the sign on the on-ramp every day. Thank God for what you have and ask Him to help you use it for someone else. Take time to smile at the person who looks in the hallway. Get out of your own little world.