Thursday, November 21, 2013

Reordering Our Normal

There is a line in the Velveteen Rabbit book where the bunny asks, "how do we become real?"  I had not thought of that line for years.  Recently however, I've begun to ask myself how do new missionaries become acclimated to where they find themselves on the mission field?  How did I ever become acclimated? I keep thinking, I must have just been totally oblivious when  I got here! Sometimes when I'm asked how I handled a certain thing, I can't even remember!! I must have had some adjusting to do..I just can't remember a LOT of it!   Its not that I am insensitive to their plight, I'm certainly not. I just wonder..'where was I when I was supposed to be going through this."  How did my life here become normal? When did the extraordinary become…well normal.

Here are some examples.  We were driving through a small town near Lake Naivasha and it was at the end of the day.  People were pouring out along the streets going home.  Naivasha is where the Peace Corps has its headquarters.  I watched a guy  who was obviously a Peace Corps volunteer as he walked along the road.  About 100 meters up the road I could see a giraffe, as big as day, standing by the paved road eating off the thorn trees.  He was not shy about any of the people going by and the people never stopped to look twice. I remember thinking, "That Peace Corp guy is in for a big surprise!"  Well, I watched as he got closer to the giraffe.  The guy didn't even hesitate!! He just looked up and kept walking!  He didn't even falter in his steps!  When in the world did walking by a giraffe on your daily commute become normal?

Another example that comes to mind. When we lived about 12 km from Maasai Mara at Olderkesi, we had some friends come visit for the weekend.  We were sitting around after they arrived and we remembered that this was the time of year that the wildebeest were migrating from Tanzania.  We said, "Hey, you guys want to go over to the park and see the wildebeest migration?"  After a minute they and us decided not to go!  Granted, we had all seen it already, but now that I think of it I wonder when did that natural wonder of the world become something we took for granted?

Here is my last one example for now. I have a dear friend who came with her family to live and work at Tenwek.  We were so glad to be their hosts here in Nairobi their first weekend in Kenya.  I loved watching her reactions to all the new things.  All the fun stuff and all the things we shake our heads at.  It was especially fun to watch the whole family as we took to the streets in the nutsy city traffic.  I do believe my friend even screamed once! Here is a picture of the family headed out for Tenwek, down the escarpment into that heavy not so nice traffic.

Has my friend gotten used to the traffic now?  Well, does anyone? I haven't heard her scream in the car lately and  I can say this, she's gotten very brave and has even come into town without her husband to do errands from Tenwek!

By now you may be wondering what my point is with this post.   It is this - Jesus gives us what we need to accept the abnormal and make it our new normal.  He blesses us with new views  of His creative imagination and we should never take it for granted.  In addition, we should not fear it.  It is scary to come into a land we've never been before and wonder if we are going to be okay in the end.  Are we ever going to get used to the many things that confound and scare us?  Of course we are!  If all of life were predictable we may begin to think we don't need Him to help us daily.   
  Jesus wants us to come to Him like never before.  He wants us to lean on Him as the new things  become reordered in our lives as normal.  

1 comment:

  1. hey neighbor! i love this. i hope you blog often:)