Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Potholes, Pedestrians, Patience and Perserverance

Our apologies for having such a long gap between posts.  Just as you may have been waiting to hear how things are going with us,  we’ve been busy doing a lot of waiting for things to go forward for us on our end.  

We have been able to take care of some things that we need to do in order to live here and function in as much of a normal way as possible.  For example some things we have done are:  

setting up necessary accounts for school
sending and receiving funds, 
mobile accounts, 
internet accounts, 
dentist appointments, orthodontist appointments
sitting in traffic

meeting key contacts for various aspects of life here,

meeting daily with the contractor building our house, 
waiting on visa paperwork, lots of driving, 
getting the kids started and functioning in school, 

sitting in traffic
checking the progress of our house, 
making friends both at school and outside of school, 
sitting in traffic
learning to drive and navigate around Nairobi, 
participating in moms in touch group, 
daily interactions with people as you go about your business, 
praying for our kids and with our kids, 
new youth group for Tom,
shopping for groceries, 
sitting in traffic, 
making decisions, cooking, helping kids with homework, 
picking up house materials, 
school activities, correspondence with people back in the states, 
meetings with people who we will be involved with in ministry, going to church
sitting in traffic, etc.  

Some days, it doesn’t seem like we have accomplished much apart from sitting in traffic and waiting to get from one place to another, yet in the scheme of things...we are doing exactly what we are supposed to be doing right now and even if it takes several hours to accomplish one thing, that is what we are supposed to do.

I suppose for most people, the thought of having to sit and wait in traffic for close to an hour just to drive less than two miles, would probably drive them insane.  It would probably drive us crazy too, except for the part that we realize that that is just how it is here and so much an integral part of our day and what we will do every day.  Sometimes, it may involve standing in line for over 4 hours to inquire about an important document, then only told to come back in 3 weeks.  Whatever it is that causes us to wait, our tendency is not wanting to or having to wait. The thought of having to wait goes against our american time standards and sometimes leads to a sense of frustration and irritation.   

Its been interesting, at least from my perspective that for whatever strange reason...maybe crossing halfway around the world, how my ability to be patient has changed.  That’s not normal for me.

In America, I usually found myself being irritated in waiting for red lights to turn green, because I was in a hurry to accomplish everything on my list of errands to do.  Learning to wait and be patience, has never been my strong suit.  Perhaps that is changing and an area that God wants to teach me more how to wait on Him and not on myself.

So what does potholes, pedestrians, patience and perseverance have in common?  
Potholes: It takes much skill to swerve around potholes that are as  numerous as the spots on a giraffe, and sometimes as large as a small lake.  
Pedestrians: It takes coordination to swerve potholes, while avoiding hitting any pedestrians walking on both sides and middle of the road, while avoiding the motorcyclists, who scoot and weave in and out around you - often times in the opposite direction that they are supposed to take.  All the while making sure that you don’t hit the cars heading towards you doing the same thing.   
Patience: It takes great amounts of patience to endure the back jarring effects of each pothole that you DON’t swerve around and have to go through and to be patient with the people who choose not to “follow” the rules that we think they ought to.
Perseverance:  Without this, you might as well not even get in the car to drive.   In order to get to your destination, you must have perseverance to get on armed with the knowledge of what you must tackle in front of you.

Patience and Perseverance is what enables you not to give up. Patience and perseverance requires you to let go of what and how you think things ought to be done, and to press into God and to live God’s way.

“What happens when we live God’s way? 
He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard - things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity.  We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people."   Gal 5:22

“Obstructions and opportunities both have a name.  
But sometimes I know they are one and the same.
What makes the difference is how I face them.
If I avoid them or choose to embrace them.
All day long I must make the choice.
I can choose to to complain or choose to rejoice.
I can move forward and progress every day
Or give up and cave in the effortless way.
God has not promised a life of ease.
It’s not about doing just as I please.
He’s always with me.  He helps me each day.
He is faithful. For me there is no other way.”  G. Foster