In my line of work as a music producer, I’ve had to travel often. At times, I even traveled to other countries. About ten years ago, I had the privilege of visiting Lagos, Nigeria. Before my arrival, I held strong preconceived notions about what I expected to see once I got there.
In America, we are often bombarded with images of poverty and despair as it pertains to the continent of Africa. This has a way of subconsciously shaping our perceptions of the Motherland. So I was expecting to find malaria-infected children, rampant homelessness and uncivilized savagery. But instead I found a modern culture, full of well-nourished people, enjoying a bustling economy. Indeed, my first time on African soil was an amazing adventure I won’t soon forget for many reasons. Among them is the discovery I made regarding the power of exposure. Had I not taken this trip and examined the Motherland firsthand, my thoughts about Africa would’ve remained narrow in scope and third party influenced. Witnessing it up close broadened my viewpoint entirely, proving that perception is not always reality. Once this insight was fully grasped, I began to apply it to other things in life.
For instance, as a child, I was always taught that the sky was blue, but after conducting my own research, I learned that the sky is not blue after all. It merely appears to be that color because of the sun’s rays reflecting off of the Earth’s water. This same method of thinking can and should be applied to the Word of God as well. While it may be soothing to the spirit to hear dynamic messages preached about the people of faith found in Biblical text, it is the first-hand experience which brings greater meaning to the term, Gospel Today. It is not enough to travel on this faith walk by attempting to live vicariously through others. We must not rely upon the diligence of thy neighbor in order to acquire spiritual understanding. We must dig for our own treasures. As Paul said in 2 Timothy 2:15, you too should “study to show yourself approved, a workman who needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” You see, the Scriptures expose us to the message of Christ first-hand. Decide today to seek God with fervor and watch Him expose Himself to you.