Every time I’ve sat down to write recently, 547 ideas pop into my head, I start writing eight different blogs, and eventually settle on option d): none of the above. I’d like to tell you that’s the reason I haven’t written a blog since February, although the additional reality is procrastination and I have never been very distant of acquaintances.
So, welcome back.
About a month ago, my squad left Africa, and along with it, three of the hardest months of most of our lives. For my team, ministry was rough, the culture was uninviting, and a lot of the people we came into contact with on a daily basis were just plain rude to us. We had tons of sickness (and I mean TONS), safety issues and everything you could think of that could go wrong, did.
It was a rough time.
In looking towards heading to Guatemala for the last three months of the Race, I kept feeling like “rest” was going to be a big word for the next season. It kept coming up over and over.
Hmm. I really didn’t even know what that meant, but I sure was looking forward to it. So after three days of travel (including a short, four hour layover in the States), a weekend together as a squad, and a week with my Momma for our Parent Vision Trip, we headed to our ministry location.
Our town, Pastores, in a nutshell, is about the size of Kellam High School, where the only possible activities include eating chocolate covered fruit (20 cents y’all- ground. breaking. stuff.) and frequenting one of the sixty (I repeat SIXTY) cowboy boot shops. Here, my natural habitat looks a lot like sitting on the floor eating cereal and warm milk out of a cup with a plastic fork.
Ministry here involves teaching English at a small school to kids from age 4 all the way up through to adults, and we live on the school’s campus. Cold showers and cement classroom floor are what we call home. That’s what you sign up for on the Race, but not exactly the image of “rest” I had in mind. The first few nights were rough: my sleeping pad was stolen in Africa, so I spent the first three nights sleeping on the concrete floor.
Now you’d think it would have hit me before- and to some extent it did, in bits and pieces- but it actually took sleeping on a concrete floor, freezing my butt off and getting sick again for it to get me in full. Y’all. I am SO blessed. I sat there the entire time thinking about the luxuries of the United States- things like beds, heaters, hot showers, tap water that won’t give you the runs, washing machines (and DRYERS for crying out loud). Those things seem almost outrageous.
Rest seems a lot like it’s being redefined a bit. Of course coming out of the painful environment that was Africa as a whole was rest in and of itself, but it looks more like finding rest in God. It’s being 100% comfortable regardless of if it involves a bed or a concrete floor because they’re both EQUALLY counted as blessings.
Today, many people claim the American Dream is out of reach. That our country is crashing and burning because we live in a society that functions on entitlement instead of work. A society that believes everything should be handed to them in the snap of a finger.
Alright friends. Here’s the bottom line- America IS a Dream. A freaking DREAM. Things like towels and the ability to show my knees in public and having the option to eat food that isn’t rice or corn based porridge (and don’t even get me started on Chick-fil-a right now)- that’s an absolute FANTASY to most of the world.
I’ve learned recognizing this is the first step in counting the concrete floors in life as blessings.
Today marks 49 days left on the Race. Dang. I even have a flight home booked now y’all. How crazy is that? I feel like I left for the race yesterday. I also feel like I haven’t seen the likes of Virginia Beach in 5 years. It’s a weird concept…