It is interesting seeing where people have come from and how their situations then go on to influence where they go and what they go on to doing. I was flicking through a newspaper a day or so ago and found a litle bit written about Zambian President Michael Sata. In his younger days he moved to Britain, but was only able to get low-paid jobs as employment, including working for the British Rail as a porter cleaning the streets at Victoria and London Bridge Stations. He is reported to have said that he wants to clean up his country like the way he used to clean up the filth in the streets of London. He said that his less than ideal situation led him to develop a passion for improving the health and nation of his country, and that if life in the UK for him had been better he probably never would have gotten into government in Zambia.
It made me think that for many many people things in life aren't always rosy posey and pretty colours and perfect. However, there is always the opportunity to develop and learn and grow from less than ideal situations to bring about change and something for the better.
God wants to use what was intended for bad, sad and not so nice situations for good, to build up, protect and preserve something for the future. I was reading recently in Genesis the story of Joseph, how his brothers were jealous of the attention his father placed on him so they sold him as a slave to some traders. However, he ended up in Egypt and became the most influential person after Pharaoh, the trustee and manager of grain stored to feed the nation and surrounding nations during 7 hard years of famine. His brothers meant to hurt him, but God used that situation to save lives.
My university is open 24hr a day 7 days a week with full time security. I'm often there late at night and have to go and get the key for the bike racks (as I ride my bike to uni) from the security guard if it's after 8pm. I found it amusing the other day when one of the security guards farewelled me by name (we have to sign the key in and out). He is a very friendly cheery fellow with a smile on his face all the time. On Wednesday night I had been to a bible study nearby and when I came to get the key to take my bike home I started chatting to this security guard and found out a bit more about him. His name is Willy and he is originally from Ghana, and he is also a Christian. I found this out as he asked where I had been that evening so I said I'd been at this bible study , making some new frends and he was quite excited to know that I was also a Christian, wanting to know what we had discussed as he hadn't been able to attend his church or bible study for a few weeks because of his job. He was encouraged to know that there are Christians at the school (he didn't know there were any) and we had a good old chat about the Matthew 18, and other topics such as life in Ghana and food in Ghana and general health discussions. On the whole I don't go around blatently telling people that I am a Christian, but when he had asked where I had been, I didn't see the point in holding back the truth.
So my challenge to myself at the moment is to be bold, in all aspects of life. Never to hold back but always to give 100% of myself in everything I put myself towards. I want to use each day whether good or bad to become a better person, wide eyed in wonder of the blessings I have, with love, friendship, compassion and kindness to share with those around me.