The transition out of the School of Missions has been interesting. I find myself in an awkward state of existence. Being in San Juan and intently focused on school for 5 months seemed to put me in sort of an isolation chamber; we didn’t even have TV. It almost seemed like a military deployment, especially once we fell into a routine.
Now I find myself in a place where I feel like everything is brand new to me. I realized today as I was watching a football game that I haven’t seen an actual football game in ages. I was glad I was able to watch it but found myself oddly detached from the experience, much unlike I have been the majority of my life. I find my normal rhythms being challenged. My times of bible study and prayer are not necessarily a nuisance, but I notice I have to intentionally make an effort to do it since not everyone around me has the same rhythm. This certainly isn’t to say it is good or bad, but rather I am noticing the changes in my own life.
I think this time period of us waiting to leave for Guatemala is going to be a good exercise of balance. We learned a lot in school about how to continually develop our relationship with God. It was easy in San Juan. Now, life is going to challenge those efforts and we have to find a balance between taking daily time to work on that relationship as well as relationships with others. We cannot simply ignore one or the other. I can’t help be amazed that my devotional today involved spiritual discipline.
I’m looking forward to figuring out how it will work. My analytical mind will continually roll through the day to discover where I could have done better and what I have learned. It is intriguing to me because I think every Christian struggles with finding balance; honestly I never even really thought about it. I believe the hardest part of it all will be getting in the habit of turning to God for wisdom and discernment in regards to daily schedule. I hope once that habit is formed it becomes easier. Many of the missionaries that taught us exemplified this type of lifestyle in some sort of way. It wasn’t quite something they learned from one person or another and it was just a “good idea,” but rather it always seemed that it was a habit they formed out of necessity. Being a missionary practically forces you to rely on God more than you ever have. It stretches your faith and challenges your theology. While the thought of it all is sometimes nerve-racking, I look forward to the challenge and the amazing things God is going to teach me through it.