What's in Your Bag?
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What's in Your Bag?
Immigrants are pouring out of Syria and Afghanistan into Europe. What they carry with them tells quite a story.
[Darris McNeely] Look at this bag slung across this man’s chest. This man’s a refugee. He is among hundreds of thousands of refugees that are streaming currently out of the Middle East and out of North Africa into, of all places, Europe. The humanitarian crisis that is taking place in that part of the world is one of the largest that we have seen in recent memory and it is beginning to strain the social and political structure of several of the countries in Europe such as Germany and others.
It’s interesting to look at this, and it’s interesting to look at this article here. Here’s one man who has his whole possessions in this bag. He’s a pharmacist coming out of Syria, and he has a flash drive with his family photos in there. He says, “I had to leave my parents and my sisters and brothers behind.” And he said, “If I drowned in a boat crossing into Europe, I wanted to at least have pictures of my loved ones close to me.” [Source: Fast Company - "What's In A Refugee's Bag? See What People Carry As They Flee"] -- That’s what he wanted in your bag.
What’s in your bag? We all have bags. We all have possessions. We all have things that mean a lot to us. If I scroll down in this particular article, it shows a number of different people and what they brought in. Here’s an individual coming out of Afghanistan, through Iran and Turkey. He arrived in Greece. He had a single backpack, it says, and a few possessions including face-whitening cream. He said, “I want my skin to be white and my hair to be spiked. I don’t want to be known as a refugee. I think that someone will spot me and call the police because I’m illegal.” The most stunning and striking one was this bag held by this six-year-old boy. His name is Omram. He’s coming out of Iraq with his family into Germany. His life’s possessions are in that bag. A six-year-old boy. Maybe this six-year-old boy’s got it closer to reality, and really, what’s important for all of us to stop and to consider.
Refugees right now are on the move and it is creating quite a crisis and quite a situation in other parts of the world, and Europe especially. When a refugee has to go overnight to a new life, they put into their bag those things that are most valuable to them. You’ve probably played the parlor game – what would you do if your house were burning and you had to run out? What would you take? What would be your most valuable thing? It’s an exercise we do to determine what’s most important to us and what’s most valuable.
Well, in real time, these people coming out of Afghanistan, out of Libya, out of Iraq, are demonstrating to a world, in a sense, what’s really important to them. At the end of the day, what’s important to them is the freedom from fear and the freedom to live a life, and they take with them those things that they feel will help them get into a new life.
It’s a very important thing to consider. In Luke 12:15 Luke 12:15And he said to them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consists not in the abundance of the things which he possesses.
American King James Version×, Jesus addressed the problem of covetousness, and he tells us something for us all to consider now, and really, every day of our lives. He said, “Beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” You learn true values when you go through an exercise like this, if it stays with you. These people, these refugees, are learning a great deal. As we anticipate and look for God’s kingdom, and we live today with the values of that kingdom in our lives, let’s ask ourselves this one question: what’s in your bag? What are we carrying? Have we winnowed it down to those things that are most valuable, most important to us in our life that will help us make it into the kingdom of God?
That’s BT Daily. Join us next time.