It's hard to believe, but I have been on the ship for three months and am almost halfway through my time here. The looming question of "What comes next," has been creeping into my head. The honest answer to the question? I really haven't a clue.
While living on ship with the constant mirror of 400 other people can be frustrating at times (i.e. nearly impossible to find a truly quiet-non-interruptable space) and the stress of the environment forces you to uncomfortably embrace your insecurities and get over issues with people you could normally just avoid at home (not necessarily a bad thing). But the truth is, at the end of the day, it's really amazing. God has again faithfully blessed me with an abundance of kindred spirit friends and I've have really been enjoying my time here.
But in three months, I'll say goodbye and head back to Bucks County, to face the perils of "re-entry". As much as I miss/love my home, family, and friends, it's a really tough transition to make. I know because I've already done it. I'm not looking forward to doing it again. The anticipation this week filled my head to the point of complete self-consumption.
En route to Benin I watched "Slum dog Millionaire." There is a scene in the movie when an adult burns the eyes of street children, making them blind, so they can be more efficient beggars and make him more money. Last night, while our Land Rover paused at a traffic light, a blind man came to our window and asked for money. The mans eyes recalled the images of the children in the movie and left me a bit unsettled. I'm sure there are thousands, possible millions, of children around the world who are being exploited right now. Maybe the man at the window had been one of them. Regardless, I could not ignore the reality that the world is a sinful place filled with hurting people.
In light of that fact, in light of what I claim to believe, how I live should be affected. Period. There really is no room or need for self consumption.
When my eyes are focused on myself, my future, my needs, my rights, and my desires, my world gets very small. My mind is made obtuse and my vision narrows. Suddenly, I'm blinded to the needs of those around me. I can't think of myself and my neighbor. One will suffer the loss of my attention.
This morning I read this verse,
"Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee."
I loved the last four words, "I will shew thee." God called Abraham but didn't tell him where he was going. He asked him to leave everything in his life behind and simply promised that he would lead him and be faithful to His promise.
Really, isn't that enough? I want my gaze fixed that reality.