Paradise is a nice place to visit.

ChoicesParadise is a nice place to visit. But none of us live there. In fact, only about 411 people do.

Most of us live in the middle of our callings, in less glamorous sounding places like Eckerman. Or Monday morning.

We are called to places that we’d rather not be. Places like homeless and hungry, places like hospital and jail. And we are called to love people that we don’t understand, like strangers and sick and unable to provide for themselves. And we are called to do it as we go about our ordinary lives, so that at the end of all things, when Jesus says, “Come, you are blessed by my Father” because of caring for Jesus, we will say, “I was just living my life, loving you and loving my neighbors.”

There are about 281 people in Eckerman. Having driven through there, I think that’s a stretch. But each of them is a person. As much of a person as a person in Paradise. Or Monday morning.

We’ve got a choice today, to listening to our calling to love wherever we find ourselves. To love those to the right and to the left. To know that in the process we might stumble across Jesus. To know that our compassion may in fact be the answer to someone else’s prayer to see Jesus.

As much as I like to visit Paradise, and Lake Superior that is on the edge of town, I’m more happy where I’m called. Which is here. And now.