Friday, December 18, 2009

Whose nickname?

I was a bit taken aback a few years ago as I walked down the street and spotted a billboard saying "Russia-the land of opportunity."

Well, how would YOU react?

I think it's fair to say that this nickname more often refers to the U.S....

However, in class recently my Lexicon teacher noted that is it actually RUSSIA who was called the "Land of Opportunity" in the 18th century, more than a hundred years before the concept of the American Dream came into being. This referred not only to opportunities for foreigners to make a nice living for themselves, but to Russians who were close to the tsar and could receive many desired benefits. +/-

In a way, we are all looking for the "Land of Opportunity" when we move to a different city, neighborhood, or even a new position in our work or ministry. We try to make the best choice based on a number of factors. In general, we are looking for something better than what we have at the moment.

Stephen Curtis Chapman has a song about this concept. His conclusion? Matthew 6:33...

This is a world full of options
It's like a never ending buffet line
While all that I'm really needing
Is living water and the bread of life
So as I'm walking through this life making choices
There is one thing I must never forget
This land of opportunity has one God
If I seek Him first He'll take care of the rest

Perhaps you have heard this sermon many times... but does your life show it? Have the people around you heard it? As you look at their faces, do you think that they know and believe that there is something more in life?


  1. Great essay!

    I think in this country we are so overwhelmed by opportunities. I was completely stunned the other day when I was trying to encourage Sergei to play on the school's basketball team. He burst out with something like, "What is the matter with Americans?! They always have to be joining something and doing something! Can't you just stay home and be still?" Well! I was really surprised that he had noticed a difference and that he felt so strongly about it.

    I don't even think that, as a family, we really DO too much! At the moment Anastasia has just begun piano lessons and that is the size of the outside activities. Many families have kids doing something every night of the week.

  2. That is such an interesting observation! It seems to me that Russians are always busy and rarely home, but maybe that is due more to long work days and commuting, rather than by choice. However, I think Russian families would send their kids to lots of after-school clubs if they had the money. They are certainly into the arts.

    Maybe Sergei was used to everything being on- site in the orphanage? Or did he live in a family?

    American students also need to be active in their community to get into college, and maybe it just becomes a habit...


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