So India. This place is crazy! There is so much going on that sometimes I find that if I don’t just put my head down and ignore my surroundings for a minute, I might have to develop multiple personalities in order to deal with it. However, at the same time if I keep my head down for too long I WILL get hit by a bus. That is true, I was nearly hit by a bus today, and it was terrifying. I apologize for the delayed nature of this post, I have been finding it somewhat difficult to find reliable sources of internet access. (Related: I am thinking about getting a portable wifi hotspot, does anyone have experience with them and if so, good or bad? Comments are appreciated!) And in all reality, I have had no idea what to write about, and let’s be real I still don’t really. But I figured that maybe if I just throw my hands toward my keyboard in a hopeful fashion something good may come out. Maybe that’s how the Twilight series was written? Anyway, India, living here has been incredible, hard, gross, amazing, fulfilling, and challenging. And I have only been here for three weeks! Everyday holds a new experience and gives me the opportunity to learn and grow, but it also gives me the opportunity to be closed minded and be negative towards the culture and the people. There is a choice to make everyday of whether I am going to choose to embrace all that God is teaching me through people and culture, or whether I am going to neglect this and try to remain in my own world. Every time I use my flip flop to heartlessly murder an enormous cockroach (a battle that I am winning by 16-0 kill/death ratio by the way) I have to ask myself if I am going to hold this as mark against living here, or if I am going to see the humour in it and learn that ADDA flip flops are the best for this task. Every time I go into a public bathroom and I am greated by the sight of a soaking wet and slippery toilet seat, I am confronted with the choice to hate it, or think about how going to the bathroom normally is rather boring and not knowing if you are going to slip off the toilet and break something mid-movement is quite exciting and really enhances your bathroom experience! Or how about when the guy on the train decides that he wants to practice his MMA skills and decides to throw an elbow directly into my sternum, should I get physical with him and say that he is a problem, or should I maybe realize that everyone on this train just wants to get home/to work/to their friends house, and maybe even that when he becomes the UFC Welterweight champion I can say that he practiced his wicked elbow-to-the-chest move on me first. Constantly there are experiences that cause a confrontation within me. Am I going to curse the smell that, after steeping in the humidity all day, can only be described as “funky”, or think about how amazing the view of the rice fields and palm trees was as I rode through the countryside on the back of a motorbike? Am I going to sit at the back of the church with my arms crossed and repeatedly tell myself that charismatic worship is not what I believe in theologically, and therefore will not take part in it, or will I join in and appreciate the fact that we are all part of One Body, and God has created diversity within the body. I must admit that I am guilty of the former. The thing is each day, whether you live in India, Canada, America, Barbados, Mozambique, or Fiji, we are faced with challenges and they each present a confrontation between our own ideals of how we think life should be and what life is. We want our lives to be cockroach, wet toilet seat, and funky smell free but, in reality they are not! And I am glad they are not because, life would be boring if we always knew what was coming up and we wouldn’t learn anything from that. The age old saying that “Familiarity breeds contempt” comes to mind. The thing that makes life so awesome wherever you are, is the unexpected, the challenge, the new experience, and I think that we, me especially, miss out on things because I expect life to fit in a box. I don’t think that’s how God designed life to work. When I look at the Bible, and more specifically the message of the Gospel, I see that it was full of unexpected lessons and experiences. People didn’t expect that Jesus was going to come as a baby in a manger, I mean they should have based on the prophecy, but they didn’t! They didn’t expect Him to be a humble carpenter, they didn’t expect Him to die. How could the Saviour of the World die? The disciples didn’t expect to see Him again but they did. The Bible is chalked full of examples of God using the unexpected experiences of life to teach, affirm, and build people and groups up. I guess what I am trying to say is that I think that God shows us a lot through the things we go through and we have a choice to make. Are we going to be open and willing to learn from the challenges and experiences that we have, or will we choose to close ourselves off to them because they don’t fit in our category of what life should be like?
As always, these are just some thoughts that I am processing and I do not mean to accuse anyone by this. Thanks for readin! (And for real with the wifi thing, comments are appreciated!)