You know what is funny about getting out of your comfort zone? The funny thing is that the devil makes it real easy to find new comfort, new routine. I have been in Uganda for 10 days now and I am to the point where I am actually starting to get this place pretty well figured out. A friend of mine, Emmanuel, who is from Uganda even made a comment about how fast John and I have adapted to the culture and community. With that said in 10 days I have found my new comfort zones. In 10 days I have established my new routine:
I catch a Boda Boda to Café Pap each morning where there is a wifi hot spot, check my mail and update this blog. From there catch a ride to Bugalobe and meet with a team that goes and serves at the local prisons, from there explore the town, come home eat, sleep and repeat.
I am now convinced that it is easy to get comfortable anywhere. I live in a home that is surrounded by slums, that is surrounded by people who will never have jobs because they cannot figure out the system. I live in a community that is always on the move yet extremely slow and seemingly disorganized. I am surrounded by an economy, which in its own right is decent, uses the most primitive methods imaginable to do things. I live in a country that cannot export, or produce for that matter, their largest product (mangos) because there is no labor and/or industry available in that particular area to properly maximize their greatest good. I live in a continent that is overlooked in its own right for its resources because of a fear of internal meltdown. Yet somehow I have been able to establish a daily grind.
To me this just proves that we must guard ourselves at all times. If I can find a trend in this country, if I can build comfort when I am living out of my element then that means I must really be on my guard when I am living in a place where everything works, where everything makes sense (the states).
It seems to me that people never live to their potential because they become very good at being mediocre. We become very comfortable with the idea of living a mundane, routine life. What good is a life that makes no impact? How is me never getting out of routine or automatically falling into routine pushing me to live in a way that isn’t for myself but has the betterment of people in mind? How can I live the way I have been called to if I am constantly comfortable? I guess it is time that I switch things up a bit… already. I didn’t come half way around the world to be a tourist; I came to witness the impact of Christ’s love towards people! Ugandans have shown me what that looks like… even with nothing. Now it is my turn to let their example penetrate my heart and change me. If I am too comfortable to see a need for change then I am too comfortable for true life. True love.
You come to a place like this and it is impossible not realize that we have it good… American poverty is the upper-middle class here. People have real problems here; like how am I going to feed the 13 people who live in my 2 bedroom flat rather than should I get the Tahoe or the Suburban. Believe me I am in no way criticizing anyone’s life style, I have it pretty stinkin’ good, but there is an immediate severity to the magnitude of my new friends problems and at no point have I ever heard any of them complain. They just give thanks for the blessings that God has given them and they make the most of what they have got. It is truly amazing… I wish I could explain it, I wish that you could feel what it is like when a 23 year old University student tells you that his dream his whole life has been to just once trade dust for snow… that is what he has wanted more than anything. Not a new house, or car, or to be an astronaut, or to not have to share a room with his three younger brothers but simply to trade dust for snow. – Hebrews 12: 1-3 has been reoccurring in different capacities over the past three days… those verses were part of my quiet time on Tuesday morning, a prisoner recited that particular scripture Wednesday, and Thursday it was the topical verses for mission week at the dioceses that John and I have been working through.
Hebrews 12:1-3 states, “Therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
These three verses are starting to make more and more sense. God has not let me get away from this passage and it is now starting to click. My new Ugandan friends have so much joy, they are filled with so much love it is unbelievable and it is for one reason; because they aren’t worried about what they don’t have, they are to busy staying focused on Who they have.
Isaiah 58: 9-11