Monday, April 11, 2011

APRIL 11 WHAT CITIZENSHIP ARE YOU?

     I was coming in from Mexico this morning; after being held up for over an hour in line, I was quite anxious when I saw the border and the immigration officer in sight, i would any minute now and I would be through! Little did I know it would not be so. The immigration officer started to question me quite though roughly about my status as a U.S. Citizen because I handed him a Canadian Passport. Having come back from Canada only 8 months ago it is understandable that I would still have my Canadian Passport and not a U.S (or so I thought).  I told him, "first of all, it indicates on my Passport that I was born in the U.S. specifically Burbank, CA. and aside from that, let's say I am a Canadian, I still have a right to get in to the U.S. just based on that. Well...that did not go over so well....after being interrogated by the 3rd Immigration officer I lost it with his comment, "you Canadians..." (not that there's a problem with that). I said, #1, I am not a Canadian I was born in Burbank, California and I served my country in the United States Marine Corps and slapped my Veteran's Card down on the table (thank God I had that on me). That was the end of that whole scenario, they quickly let me go.  I was furious, I wanted justice, you cannot know how irritating it is to be harassed and interrogated and prevented from entering your own country. I'm an American for crying out loud, I'll sue, I'll get your badge, I'll...I'll, and that's when I thought about the Apostle Paul, who was whipped and beat by his own, even when he was a Roman Citizen. The soldiers perhaps assumed that Paul was not a Roman citizen because he identified himself with a lower class of people (at least in the Roman's eyes). Imagine their shock and fear when Paul told them he was a Roman Citizen!
"37 But Paul said to the officers: “They beat us publicly without a trial, even though we are Roman citizens, and threw us into prison. And now do they want to get rid of us quietly? No! Let them come themselves and escort us out.”  38 The officers reported this to the magistrates, and when they heard that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens, they were alarmed. 39 They came to appease them and escorted them from the prison".
     Instead of Paul using this great injustice to serve his own gain, to sue them, to vindicate himself, to get someone fired, Paul used it as an opportunity to get to witness to people he would otherwise never have come in contact with. Paul appeals to Caesar.  Paul never thought about the injustices done to him (like his Savior) as something worth lamenting over, but rather how he could use them as launching pads to preach the Gospel and save souls. I couldn't help but be convicted once again by Paul's stellar Christian Character. I couldn't help but be convicted about  how spiritual Paul was and how spiritual I'm not.  What is my true Citizenship? What Citizenship should I boast of the most, should it not be that I am a Citizen of Heaven, of the Kingdom of God. It's so easy to lose sight of this. I wonder what injustices done to you have cause your blood to boil, caused you to want vengeance and vindication? What lawsuits are you involved in, who are you suing? Who are you seeking justice from, in the large scheme of life and eternity, does it really matter? Paul was an incredible man of God, can I get an Amen?!