Albania was one of the most isolated and inaccessible nations in Eastern Europe during the years of Communist oppression. When the borders finally opened an outside world stepped across its border to discover a culture trapped in time.
On my first visit to Albania, a friend shared with me what took place when the borders finally opened. Albanians would stand at the border selling handfuls of ancient Roman coins to the incoming tourists. Some of these coins were worth thousands of dollars. They were sold for pocket change. The Albanians who lived in isolation had no idea of the value of what they possessed.
Isolation is always a dangerous thing. When people or an institution hurt us, we can choose to isolate ourselves from the possibility of future pain. Fear motivates this decision. The leader of Albania's Communist Party, Enver Hoxha, did this to the citizens of his nation during the Cold War. He kept the populace uninformed to the realities of the outside world using fear as his primary tactic of control.
In isolation, we lose contact with a larger reality. Being separated from outside input we are more easily convinced to believe lies about our identity and the possibility of a hope-filled future. The Albanians lived in that oppression and so can we if we choose to remain isolated. We each hold in our hands a precious and invaluable identity and calling the devil wants us to sell for pennies at the border of our breakthrough. That is a lie easily believed when we are isolated and saturated with fear.
Some of you reading this need to wait before you sell your life to the highest bidder. You need to ask someone to help you understand the value of what God has given to you before you make a sad transaction with a lie. Once you understand the great value of what you possess you will not find yourself selling your identity and calling to the spiritual tourists who so readily want to prey on your ignorance. You are worth so much more than you can imagine. Don't sell your worth. It is invaluable.