As I’m getting ready to leave Tanzania, I thought it a great idea to climb up Kilimanjaro (part-way) and take a trip to Zanzibar, two of the world’s most stunning places. I spent about four days in Zanzibar. It was a great little escape from the desolation and the poverty that strikes pretty much across the whole of Tanzania. When I was standing at the beautiful beaches, watching and hearing the waves crashing again and again, seeing the beautiful blue waters and feeling the soft grains of sand against my feet (when the shells aren’t being nature’s legos), I almost forgot what I’ve been privy to for the past month and a half.
There’s a beauty in natural creation that is often hard to find where the people are. We often misuse and abuse what’s around us by the very things we create. When we were at the village, I was heartbroken by the garbage that laid waste upon the same land that the children were playing. Many children did not even wear shoes. I watched as one child tried to take a nail that had dug through her worn out flip flops. She couldn’t pull it with her hand so she started to use her teeth to remove an old nail out of her shoe!
Anyway, I went out to the beach early one morning, completed captivated by the view and the surround sound of heaven. In that hour, there was also a boat full of men ready to grab their catch for the day. It struck me in that moment, I may be enjoying that beautiful scene but there are people in that very moment looking for their means of survival. I thought about how many opportunities to see glorious things I had missed due to being so focused on what I needed to do. It sometimes requires us to step out of something to really recognize the true beauty around us. I saw that happening all week as my eyes were opened to the things I had really seen in my time here in Africa. In the midst of the challenges and the hardships and what looks like impossible situations for others, there is a marvelous wonder that we can catch. Just like the men on the boat, we may miss what is beautiful for what is necessary. It may require us to stop for a moment so we can see, hear and feel what is truly spectacular.
“Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” Psalm 90:2