People whom I love have recently moved overseas and others are soon to follow. There has been plenty of snot en trane this past week.
When family and friends move away one contemplates, “If I have the opportunity to follow, should I?” The sense of adventure that accompanies the idea of moving to another city, another country, and another culture is appealing. After all, the grass usually seems greener elsewhere. And, let’s be frank, in many cases, it is.
How much “greener” to move to a place where things “work,” where taxes are reasonable (wishful thinking, I know), where crime is so rare that one can live without walls, where the supply of electricity is rarely interrupted, and where COVID-19 doesn’t exist (North Korea, anyone?). Well sure, the grass does seem to be greener in some parts of the globe. But as they say, there is no place like home. Local is lekker, indeed.
Now, local is lekker, but not because local is better. Having lived in two other parts of the world, I’m the first to recognise that there are things that are better in Brisbane than in Joburg. The weather is a bit better, the ease of transport on the trains made travel in and around the city a pleasure, and we loved taking the kids to the nearby beach. And of course, there were those Aussie sausages (“snags”) cooked in onions on the barbie. Lekker!
As for the USA, sure, some things are better over there. Service delivery is smooth and dependable, grocery stores are open 24/7, and, for bargain shoppers like my wife and I, it’s hard to compete with $5 quality dress shirts.
Further, local is lekker, but not because local is easier. For most of us, it’s not. Our economy is a huge challenge, the problems facing our government are mounting (but then again, America???), racism is an ongoing challenge, and fellow church members are sinners!
So, how then can I say, “local is lekker”? Because, for one thing, by the providence of God, he has placed me here, not over there. I can either be grateful for my local, and look for God’s goodness, or I can grumble and be discontented. The choice is mine, and it’s all a matter of perspective.
Neil recently alluded to twin teenage boys who, upon their birthday, opened the door to a room full of manure. The pessimistic one was deeply offended and very irked. The optimistic brother excitedly concluded, “With all this manure, there must be a pony in here!” He saw lekker where his brother saw, well, not so lekker.
As we begin a new week of various challenges, let me encourage us to make the most of our God-appointed local. I am happy for the opportunities my daughter and son-in-law will have overseas. I pray that their new local will become lekker. I am glad for my friends who will soon relocate to Canada and to another pastorate. May their local be lekker as well. And, if God moves you, wonderful. But if he doesn’t, then be thankful for his goodness to you right where you are. After all, we have God’s word on it.
While experiencing one of his many unjust incarcerations, God moved Paul to pen, “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content” (Philippians 4:11). If Paul were South African, he would simply say, “Local is lekker.” Indeed.
Learning with you,