Last week, I visited family in Montana. Taking a trip always makes me appreciate the diversity in the landscapes and seasons, whether it’s across our country or somewhere else in the world. I do not think anyone would mistake Montana for Nebraska. Driving across Nebraska you see a lot of prairie. Driving in Montana can be an adventure. Sharp turns overlooking cliffs and valleys are the norm. At one point while sightseeing, we got out for a longer look and standing in one spot, I could turn 360 degrees and see snow capped mountains, rivers, lakes, valleys and woods all around me. God sure was showing off the day we went for a drive in those mountains! However, I don’t think I would want to drive that route everyday. I was pretty nauseous both going up the mountain and coming back down. I think I’ll stick with the flat land of Nebraska for my daily commute.
Taking that trip made me appreciate the diversity in people as well. My uncle had just passed away and my parents and I were helping my aunt prepare for his funeral. While we were setting up various displays for the day, I learned so much about who my uncle and his friends were. When I was very young my uncle moved from Minnesota to Montana to become a mountain man. I knew he went on rendezvous, rode horses and slept in tee-pees. But I didn’t fully understand his life until his friends came to pay their respects that day. They wore their buckskinner outfits and each held different guns and scrimshaw that they had purchased or traded from my uncle. They told stories from their lives that I only imagined happened in books or movies. I have such fond memories of meeting those men and hearing how much they respected and adored my uncle. My vision of a mountain man was changed by having conversations with and listening to people who were different than me.
It’s good to be different. The world would be very boring had God chosen to make it all the same. God created each of us as His unique child. Not better than, just different.
Thank you, God, for knowing that we need diversity to live our best lives. We need diversity to be sensitive, to grow, to think, to be effective, to be perceptive, to act and to love. Help us remember that though we are different, we are all chosen by you and unified as one in Christ. In your Son’s holy and precious name, Amen.
Written by Julie Anderson