Not so long ago, just about everyone still had a "full screen" TV--you know, the kind with the bulging glass tube and the squarish 4:3 (width-to-length) picture. I can remember when I would carefully avoid purchasing "widescreen" videos, because I did not want to give up any part of my full-screen picture to those horizontal black bars above and below the picture!
Today most of us are happy that technology has taken a giant leap forward and given us "wide screen"--flat screen, plasma, and LCD TVs--with the picture in high definition and much larger than the old cathode ray tube could have ever hoped to produce! But alas, I now have a different problem! If my favorite DVDs are in the old 4:3 "full-screen" format (and most of the Gaither DVDs are!), I must make a choice. I can distort the picture horizontally so that it does fill the screen--and also make everyone look fat!--or I must endure those two vertical black bars on either side of the so-called full-screen picture!
I suspect that "widescreen" is here to stay, simply because it matches reality better! It's not just the way we prefer to watch TV, it's the way we view the world! While reading the Bible, I noticed that Paul, that great and passionate missionary of the New Testament, also had a "widescreen" view of his world. And--get this!--it actually can be viewed in 16:9--I Corinthians 16:9, that is! There Paul wrote: "...a wide door for effective service has opened to me, and there are many adversaries" (NASB). He recognized what every missionary since his time has discovered to be true. On the one hand, there is unbelievable opportunity and we must do what we can; but on the other, there is unbelievable opposition and we must depend on God to do the part we cannot.
A few weeks ago Paula and I took the cog railway to the top of Pike's Peak. At 14,110 feet, we certainly had a "wide-screen" view of Colorado! Tomorrow evening we will be in Liberia where we will have, not just a wider view of the real world, but also "a wide door for effective service."
Here in Colorado, it is already 2 AM! In just a few hours, Paula and I will be heading for the airport with our heavy suitcases, and then we will be lifting off to begin our much anticipated five-week visit to Liberia! Our passion is to see an expanded Christian school established in Buchanan. In a country emerging from war, the opportunity to meet a need by giving education to its young people seems so obvious!
We certainly want to thank all our friends who have rallied behind us in recent weeks--and even in these last few days, I might add--and have made our trip financially possible! We also want to thank all of you in advance for your prayers as we go, because only God sees the opposition that is invisible to us and knows what to do about it!