Saturday, July 18, 2009

I am ready to return to my comfort zone.

We have been reading a book called "Just Courage" by Gary Haugen, the founder of International Justice Mission. It tells a lot of inspiring stories about disheartening situations. It talks about our calling in life as Christians to seek justice in the world by rescuing those enslaved, loving the orphans and widows and fighting corruption, etc. The thesis of the book has been running through my mind for two weeks now. That admiration of courage and lack of adventure in my live is from a half hearted attempt at following God while remaining "safe". Brave and safe aren't compatible. I live in a cul-de-sac world that is relatively safe, and that is why I feel the need to be adventurous. I want to be brave. If you aren't living in a situation where you literally cannot function without God, then you aren't living up to your potential as a Christian. I, for one, am not. I can function "perfectly well" in my cul-de-sac without prayer. Saying that I believe in God is a lot different than living a life in which I wouldn't be able to survive if he wasn't real. I hope that makes sense. It has helped change my life.

That being said, I am ready to return home to my comfort zone. I am mentally, spiritually, and physically (and I will be even more so while recovering from the upcoming jet-lag) exhausted. From a guys perspective, this has been one of the hardest experiences I have ever lived through, bar none. And for that to be on a mission trip, where people usually come home on a "spiritual high" and say they had an "awesome time" has been a cruel twist. There have been moments that I have absolutely hated being here, and there have been moments where I have thought, "I absolutely never thought I would be doing this on a mission trip." There have also been moments when the entire team has been in tears, laughing hysterically, or somewhere in between. I wish we could have done more...I think everyone feels like that. I feel like I did more than I was capable of doing...and I think everyone thinks that, too. I have experienced every emotion in the book. When a couple of girls I had seen several times came and had lunch at the center on our last day. Utter joy. When we saw girls that we had been talking to get the glazed-over-horror look when other guys would come and try to negotiate a price while we were sitting there with them. Utter rip-my-heart-out-of-my-chest futility and depression. And everything in between.

But I know I can't stay. I can't stay in my comfort zone now. A few weeks from now, when I am no longer craving buffalo wings and missing my play-station, that restless feeling will start to creep back in. If my life is exactly the same as it was before I left, I will have wasted my life. I can do more. I need to start living my life as if I cannot survive without God. I have seen things that nobody should ever have to endure. And I, for one, can no longer live in my cul-de-sac. There is too much that needs to be done, and too many people suffering through life with no hope. Those stats on the Dateline NBC Reports and those numbers now have faces. And I have seen the face of "trapped," "no more hope," and the horror of living that night after night.

So what now?


1 comment:

  1. Hard queations, Ben, and i am sure it reflects many if not all on the team.You won't be the same for what you have seen and experienced this trip. Instead of a "high" coming home...i think you are becoming more real, pliable and usable.The "highs" are fun and feel good, but you all have had to come to terms with a different kind of growth. You have seen the injustice and stuff that breaks the Father's heart...and it breaks yours. You have seen with new eyes. Coming back home will give you time to begin to process and see where your next step should be. Do be patient and give yourself time to reflect and talk and think and pray. I am proud of you all. Team Thailand had a tough assignment! Godspeed home. You are loved and held in His hands. jill :)