Friday, April 1, 2011

Rule #1 in traveling to India: Be Flexible

Over the years I've learned that you can't really "plan" a trip to India. You just have to be patient, communicate as the internet connections and time difference will allow and take a lot of deep breaths.

Coming from my American background, I want everything to be scheduled and confirmed as soon as the idea pops in my head. I know this isn't feasible.  I obsess over everyone's Visas, increasing airfare, lack of funds, logistics, etc. Even if this was all taken care of and arranged, by the time people decide not to go last minute, our flights are delayed, the train breaks down, someone gets sick upon arrival, or we're booked in two villages at the same time...plans change.

While I'm struggling not having all the details nailed down I am appreciative of our Indian partners, the Samuel Family, more and more every day! They answer my frantic emails with encouragement and patience and gently guide me to see the beauty in allowing God the time to work things out. Their outpouring of love is at time too much to handle. I mean their the one's struggling with 'real' problems and we're coming to help them this summer...right?

I had a 'lightbulb' moment this week talking with Chris about my struggles and disappointments of being rejected by yet another grant, having to edit my IRB application again, etc. I used to think my struggles were taking things too personal. In the spirit of preventing problems before they start--thank you public health--I'm trying to shift my focus. Maybe my true struggle is placing expectations on myself and my efforts and when they don't work out I feel like I did something wrong, sending my thoughts spiraling into "I can't do anything right." "what does it all mean?" "where do I fit in the world?" Extreme, I know.

Sure we have responsibilities and a role to play but in the end "everything under heaven belongs to God" (Job 41:11). So why should I worry about where the funds will come from or what everyday will look like in Maduari? "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?...Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."(Matthew 6:25),

While it's easy to read I hope that I can truly trust and live by God's expectations for this summer and cut myself (and everyone else) some slack.

"Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and stead fast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen" (1 Peter 5:6-11).

No comments:

Post a Comment