The biggest differences come with the slightest separation. Think about it. Faulty race relations in America are caused by your skin color. Two seats at an amphitheatre, but one has a pole in front of it. Add a little cherry to a soft drink, and you have a totally different and sometimes better tasting result. Even in sports, one point can be the difference between exuberant victors and the somber defeated. I discovered the truth of this statement on a mission trip to Reynosa, Mexico.
Reynosa isn’t some blip on the radar. Reynosa is a Mexican border-town with a population nearing 300,000 and a sprawling suburban area. I stayed in McAllen, Texas, during this week-long adventure, and made the daily border run in a Dodge rental van from the local airport. One would think that in crossing the Rio Grande River and entering Mexico the situation these people are in would not be severe. They are simply miles from the land of opportunity, the U.S.A.
Nothing could be more wrong. There were moments when I felt as if I were thrown headfirst into a "Feed the Children" commercial. These kids were not thin; they were hungry. These adults were not low on money; they were severely poor. For the first time in my life, I realized just how a small separation could make a monumental difference.
The only thing that separates the country club type living in a McAllen suburb and the poverty-ridden slums of Reynosa is a river. By simply being a citizen of this country, you are blessed beyond imagine — and you have hope. On my trip, I met many without hope.
Thankfulness should pour from our hearts as we recognize the incredible blessing we have been given. Next time you worship in your church, ask yourself if you are taking advantage of the opportunities you have been given. Next time the offering plate comes around, ask yourself if you are being truthful with your tithe. And most of all, next time you feel the need to complain, think twice about it. Thank God for His blessings on you, and pray for those who are not as fortunate as you. We are separated by so little.
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