By Ron Wood
The Meridian Star
Have you noticed all the mass-transit accidents in the news lately? A year ago a cruise ship’s captain sailed much too close to an island. Tragedy struck. He says he “fell into a lifeboat” but who knows?
Last month, a Korean airline pilot in training lost track of his airspeed while on final approach at San Francisco. Many died. In Spain, a train engineer failed to slow down on a curve ...119 in a 50 mph zone! I thought professionals would do better, didn't you? Whoever is in charge ought to focus on their task or people will get hurt. Isn’t that why captains ride up front?
One thing always stays the same: people are going to be people. People will make mistakes. Every race and nationality is made up of human beings - folks just like you and me. So you can expect them to act human, which is not surprising, since they are. Most people also like to meet new friends.
I recently had the privilege of hosting a woman missionary at our church who was born in Louisiana (with a French last name I can't pronounce) who served in Argentina for 25 years. She speaks fluent Spanish and is a remarkable Christian leader. She married an Alabama man with a Spanish surname who looks Arabic. She's helping coordinate church startups for Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, and Hispanic immigrants in Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana. While here, she met a businessman from Yemen who owns a store. The day before that, she introduced me to a local pastor from Mexico who works for a Chinese man who lives in Arkansas. This pastor is married to a wife who came from Cuba. They both live in Meridian. Folks, I can't make this stuff up!
My research reveals that I have Native American Indian blood in me. Not sure how much, but I do like to ride horses and shoot arrows. But I am American before anything else. No hyphens needed.
My wife and I lived as missionaries in The Republic of South Africa near Johannesburg. While there, we were by definition, "American-Africans." We saw many people of many colors from many nations blending into the same culture.
So I have decided that I am neither White nor Black. I am American. I am neither Pentecostal nor Baptist. I am Christian. I am neither sinner nor saint. I am saved. I am not Democrat nor Republican. I am a patriot. I am not liberal nor conservative. I am a stakeholder in this great Republic. I am not native nor immigrant. I am a citizen. I am not a "have" nor a "have-not." I pursue my own happiness and I alone am responsible for the outcome.
I live in the most blessed nation that has ever existed in human history. I have a Bible to read, a church to enjoy, and a Savior who hears my prayers. I refuse to be fearful, hateful, or cynical. I choose to be happy now and hopeful for tomorrow. Why? Because, I know God. His love is in my heart.
That's what this "Ole-Time Religion" does ... it makes me love everybody. And that's what we need right now — more love.
Ron Wood serves Trinity Assembly of God in Meridian. 601-483-8189.