A View From the “Heavenly Realm”
One of my most treasured opportunities has been to start a charity called Juma’s World that empowers children in Tanzania. Our main work is located in and around Tabora. In the beginning, we would travel by flight to Tabora, landing on a hilly graveled landing strip. But then all flights were canceled for several years as they rebuilt the airport.
During this time, we would first fly to a city called Mwanza and then embark on a torturous eight-hour drive on some of the worst roads ever created to get to our final destination. Throughout the rainy season, the route was especially treacherous—the rain had pounded the gravel roads to create huge potholes. We had to hold onto our seats just so our heads wouldn’t bang against the roof of our vehicle.
On occasion, the roads got the best of me. Oscillating between anger and self-pity, I would complain and promise myself that I would never again make that trip. Of course, memory quickly fades with time, so I journeyed that road more times than I’m willing to admit.
While searching online, I found a small airline that flew passengers to different towns in that area. I contacted them, and they agreed to put me on a flight that would make a stop in Tabora just for me. And they would only charge $180. I thought I had hit the jackpot. So I made the flight from Mwanza to Tabora in about an hour.
Sitting in the cockpit, I looked down and noticed the beauty of the terrain, the charm of the roads that strikingly wove themselves throughout the astonishing countryside. Up in that “heavenly” realm, my view shifted. Whereas before I had focused on the potholes on the earthly terrain, now I was enamored with my view of the stunning landscape. The aggravation and misery had turned to inward peace and gratefulness.
In the same way, finding that “kingdom of heaven” within you will transform your worldview. Exchanging fear for love as the primary lens of perception will radically change how you feel and what you believe about yourself. What used to trigger anger, anxiety, worry, loneliness, despair, and unhappiness will no longer faze you as it did in the past. You will experience calm amid confusion and an inner joy even when circumstances are not going your way.
Your view of people will also shift from negativity and judgment to hopeful and life-giving. Forgiveness toward those who have offended you, empathy for people who are different from you, and generosity to the ones who are struggling will naturally emerge. It’s a path to a better and more equitable world.
Adapted from David Youngren, Awakening To I Am Love: How Finding Your True Self Transforms Your Wellbeing, Relationships, and What You Do. (page 161 – 163)
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