Thursday, May 8, 2008
A Modern Day Nomad
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Volume 3, Issue 6
May 7, 2008
-A Modern Day Nomad-
…over and over again…
I was recently called a modern-day-nomad by one of my long-time friends. I think he was only half joking, but I believe the description fits.
I’m in Colorado attending the Debriefing and Renewal (DAR) seminar. A program for missionaries that recently returned to the United States. Through a series of group interactions, questions, and activities I find myself very intentionally processing my six months in Uganda. One image described this week that particularly resonates with me is the idea that we are all travelers carrying a ‘suitcase’ throughout our journey of life.
The six months I spent in Uganda allowed me to pack my suitcase full of things, many of which I have dropped off or removed over time, but several items that I am still carrying along the way. Though many of these items are valuable and necessary, each item I retain weighs down my suitcase and may hinder my future travel. The past few days I’ve been carefully examining my suitcase, throwing out the things I don’t need and finally recognizing many hidden items that have been weighing me down.
I just read a soon-to-be published article that is about my time in Uganda. It was written by a media/publication professional at Arcadia University. He used a combination of my blog writings and a phone interview that occurred in March to compile the information. I cried when I finished reading the story – missing Uganda and even more so the people, but more deeply realizing the glory of God and his guiding hand throughout my experience.
Conversations since my return, reflections on my writings during my time in Uganda, and the current DAR seminar have really brought to focus the saving power of God’s grace and mercy. Over and over again I have failed to be the man that Jesus desires me to be, but over and over again God has granted mercy. To paraphrase a famous Christian author, “I am a grave sinner in need of a loving savior.”
How Scott or Jennifer Myhre or I did not contract Ebola is amazing. All three of us had contact with Ebola patients, yet all three were spared from the disease that took the lives of many.
Had I known before I went to Uganda that I would be in the midst of an Ebola crisis, that there would be deadly snakes in and around my house, that I would witness the death of many children – I probably would not have went. I most likely would have run in the opposite direction.
Often times in my life I cling to Jesus, pleading with him to ‘show me the way.’ I long for a fortune teller god to reveal the mysteries of life, to show me the path marked out for me, to make known the unknown. But that is not the way of God. He tells me only what I need to know and only when I need to know it. Had he revealed what was going to happen in Uganda well in advance of my departure, I would not have gone. The most remarkable six months of my life would not have occurred. The relationships, mercies, and bountiful glimpses of grace would not be there.
How loving a Lord I serve that he shows me only what I can handle, and even though the future may be unknown to me, it is known to him. My impatience and reservation to go forth into the unknown is remedied by his loving and guiding hand to only allow me to see what I can handle. Thank you, Jesus.
As I continue to unpack my suitcase, and ponder what it means to be a modern day nomad, I can’t help but say “THANK YOU” over and over again to the Lord. I am blessed beyond what I deserve.