World Map Shower Curtain

What If God Wrote Your Shopping List?: World Map Shower Curtain

Jay PayleitnerBy Jay Payleitner6 Minutes

Excerpt from What If God Wrote Your Shopping List?: 52 Ways to Find Freedom from “Stuff” by Jay Payleitner

Chapter 8

World Map Shower Curtain

Several years back, this item appeared on a Payleitner family shopping list “shower curtain for the boys’ bathroom.” We were seeking nothing fancy or extraordinary. Our four boys were past the age of teddy bears and cartoon monkeys, so the goal was to find something that would keep the water off the bathroom floor and not clash with the wallpaper.

What we ended up purchasing turned out to be a fantastic, mind-expanding addition to their educational and spiritual well-being.

We found it at Bed Bath & Beyond. For less than twenty bucks. A clear shower curtain with a visual representation of all 190-plus countries on the planet. It was an easy and obvious purchase. Suddenly, every shower became a geography lesson. While they lathered and rinsed, they noticed how three fairly large western states bordered the Pacific Ocean and fourteen smaller states bordered the Atlantic. They identified for themselves the boot of Italy, the expanse of the former Soviet Union, the Mediterranean and Red Seas, and the islands of Iceland, Ireland, Madagascar, Cuba, Tasmania, and Indonesia. The idea of continental drift started to make sense as they saw how Africa seems like it could have once fit into the Caribbean. Most importantly, the six-foot-wide shower curtain served as visual proof that a world exists beyond their own neighborhood.

That’s a concept we all need to grasp. If that lesson starts with a colorful shower curtain, that’s not a bad thing. The question is, How do we use this new information?

On God’s shopping list is for each of us to develop a heart for people in every corner of the earth. According to the gospel of Matthew, Jesus’s final instruction to his followers was to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19-20). That outreach begins with our families, neighborhood, and community. But was also have a responsibility to move beyond our small sphere of influence and outside our comfort zone.

For some that means praying intentionally for lost people in faraway places you will never visit in this life. For others that might mean packing up your belongings and moving to the other side of the world to share the gospel with people who live on one of those brightly colored spots on your shower curtain.

Investing our hearts, minds, and resources in those lives is easier than ever. Technology and instant communication can make us aware of their hopes, dreams, needs, and gifts and even enable us to share in their day-to-day experiences. Ministries like Voice of the Martyrs, Prison Fellowship, and Bible League know how to cut through the bureaucracies to deliver truth and love in tangible ways. Those kinds of trusted, established ministries are always looking for individuals like you with whom to partner.

As our minds attempt to grasp the idea of close to eight billion people living in 190 countries, a humility should probably wash over each of us. In one sense, we’re each just a speck of dust. But God’s love gives us purpose. His heart is big enough to love you, me, and every one of our neighbors on the planet. And he wants us to do the same.

I’m not sure if a multicolored world map shower curtain fits into the decor of your master bathroom. In fact, it probably doesn’t. Maybe you don’t even have a shower. But you do have room in your home for a globe, wall map, or world atlas. Next time you start to feel like the world revolves around you, spin that globe, study that map, or flip through that atlas.

If you start to feel small, that’s okay. Just remember you have the ability and responsibility to plug into the power that created not just the world but the entire universe.

Checking the List

Please don’t race to Jakarta or Mahajanga next week. (Unless God is giving you an amazingly clear call.) But do take a purposeful step toward becoming a true world Christian. Taking a short-term mission trip or supporting a missionary family will deepen your understanding of how God sees the world and how you can make a difference, right where you are.

Order your copy of What If God Wrote Your Shopping List? 52 Ways to Find Freedom from “Stuff” by Jay Payleitner

Featured Photo Credit: Leslie / Map of the World / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0