Sunday, July 1, 2012

A Distant View

Right now I am cruising at about 35,000 feet in a Delta airplane but I have no idea where we are because the air is so smoky that I can't see the ground. We had a great view of the fires in Pocatello and could see the plume from the Colorado fires. From this height they just look like large puffy clouds, but I know that the experience at ground level is much different.

Just yesterday a fire broke out in the neighboring community of Harriman that quickly destroyed several homes. Although this morning we could see on the news that the fire was still burning, from our vantage point about 20 miles away, the air was clear and it was a beautiful day.

Isn't that like life in general? We can be in a mighty struggle and feel like we are holding on to the last knot in the rope, but to other people, it appears that things are fine and that we have smooth sailing. The distant view tends to soften the hard edges of reality. That's why it is easy to get so wrapped up in our own life struggles that we neglect to notice the challenges that others are facing.

I don't know about you, but I get overwhelmed when I pay too much attention to those world issues that I can only see in the distant view. Poverty. Hunger. War. What can I do about problems that are so huge? I assist when asked, but I will admit that I don't really go out of my way to find ways to be involved.

I am interested in affecting change, but I have to do it on a smaller scale. I can help teenagers learn and grow. I can help neighbors who are facing challenges. I can stand up for community members who need their voices heard. I can donate money and clothes to those who have lost their homes to these crazy fires.

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