I live in a tropical paradise. The glorious Indian Ocean is my backdrop—I can see it between the trees at my house, when I run errands around town, and when I watch my daughter’s soccer games. For fun we take a little boat to an uninhabited island and snorkel over colorful coral. The weather is always warm; even in “winter” it rarely goes below 70 degrees at night. We can drive just a few hours to see all the famous animals of Africa. I am surrounded by people who are friendly and generous, eager to help and appreciative of any attempt to speak in Swahili. I can walk down the road to produce stands heaped with fresh pineapples, avocados, mangos, bananas. I live in a 3 bedroom house with a yard big enough for a soccer field for less than what we paid for our tiny, one-bedroom apartment in California. I have a house helper who comes four mornings a week and does my cleaning and laundry.
My children attend a top-quality school, an incredible place that is the best of many worlds. Their teachers are kind and wise Christians, and their classmates come from a wide range of nationalities and religions. Their curriculum includes art, music, computers, Swahili, and swimming. My husband and I work in pastoral training and have the privilege of seeing lightbulbs go off for church leaders as they grasp God’s sovereignty or grace for the first time. We get to do something significant for eternity, and we get to have fun while we do it.
Sound great? Envious? Wish you had my life?
It’s all true.
But things are not always what they seem.....