What is the human experience? What does it mean to be human? What is a human life about? These questions have touched the hearts of man for centuries. Earth would be nothing without man. Before you think that I basically inserted an academic essay into the Austria column, I’ll give you a brief background.
For ten-day break, I went on the mission trip to Romania where I had the most human experience of my life. I say that not to mean that I experienced being human (I certainly think I’ve been doing a good job of being human for the past 20 years), but rather that I experienced human emotions reflected in the people of Romania with whom I was blessed to come in contact.
As any of you who have done a mission trip before probably know, you come back a different person. I’m not going to go through details of things that happened on the mission; it doesn’t matter for what I am talking about. We visited people in their homes and saw them as they lived. In what they knew. Their human experience.
Every person has a story. Every person has a unique experience to share. No two human lives are the same, just as no human fingerprints have ever been the same. It is a mark unique to the individual.
A life lived is unique to the individual. Every person came from a different upbringing, a different lifestyle, had different experiences that formed them. Each person is the star of his own life story. People form their own opinions, their own mannerisms, their own ways of life—all drawn from their own experiences.
They may be influenced by other people, or they may want to be as different from everyone as possible and not listen to a word they are told. A group of people in a certain country or a city will act differently from those of another country. Similarities form customs and traditions which in turn change in region to region.
In a journey to the far reaches of the world, one will see incredible manmade achievements, or encounter the beauty of the natural world. Yet it is the people that define a place, not its architec-ture, its mountains, nor its flowers. It is the individuals that live their lives that give meaning to the world.
Each individual writes a chapter in the story of his life and touches the stories of others. There are seven billion people in the world. Each with a different story, a different way of life, different opinions, different mannerisms. Yet in each person we see God’s image as he or she lives his or her life in a never-ending celebration of humanity. A celebration of human life.