Thursday, 12 June 2008

They don't fit

Coming back to "normal" life after an adventure always takes adjustments. This time, the life I've returned to is similar to - but not the same as - the one I left. Same job; different responsibility level and different crew. Same city; different house and living arrangements. Same friends; different places in life. Even the April weather was almost identical to the September that I left. In the early days of being back, I almost believed I'd never left.

Returning after being away a while is like putting on a pair of old jeans and finding they don't fit anymore. At times when you're away, you just think about them and how comfortable they feel. Problem is, you're never the same size when you return. Parts grow, parts change, some parts warp... but whatever the differences, those jeans don't feel the same.

The scientific term for all of this is reverse culture shock... I like to think of it as evidence of growth. No, I am not the same as when I left, but wasn't that the point? Doesn't everyone leave - whether for a 5* vacation or a remote missions trip; 5 days or 5 years - so that they (at least slightly) become a different person than when they left? Some seek renewal, some rest, some persective, some purpose. All want to cope better, understand more, enjoy more fully, see more clearly and live better these remaining days that make up our lives.

For me, being away is most often transforming... experience is a tool God uses for me to not be conformed to this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of my mind. It involves seeing what once was normal in a different light, and reacting as who I am now. Sometimes there is an intense desire to just be who I was, but it becomes impossible to be that person honestly.

I encourage each of you in that journey, wherever you're going, to let it transform you. We are loved too much to not be given circumstances to grow. The obvious opportunities are the ones that use airplanes, languages, and diverse cultures as the mediums. The important opportunities are what surround us everyday as we seek to be world changers in the communities we're in now.

The point of yesterday is always to prepare us for today. So friends, wherever you are, in whatever place, take the best from all you've known and bloom where you've been planted. No matter how you feel, you have been made ready for that. So let yourself be transformed by the days gone by - and get some new jeans.


Betty said...

What a brilliant philosopher you are child!
Believe me my jeans are too tight by far! I'm still quite perplexed by what God may want from me and I confess discouraged when happiness seems illusive for my 2 girls.
Some times I just seem too tired to pray properly.
But I still do.
Love Aunt Betty

Leah said...

Heafty thoughts that you've passed on - and now I head for bed with heafty thoughts! That post was significant for me in many ways, so I'll need to re-read it.. lol. We'll talk more when I see you face to face - and how I long for it!

Leah said...

PS - it says 8:21 but it's actually 10:21 my time (just to give excuse for my "heading to bed comment!)