I had the chance to greet some people from the church and the Bible college today, and the one question I was asked over and over was, “how was your holiday?” Little do they know that home, the USA, is no holiday, but this, Malawi, is the holiday — if you like your holidays served with a side of running stomach.
One thing I’ve noticed is that people here assume we are escaping from this place when we go home, but that’s not the case at all. Both places have difficulties. The challenge in any place is what you do with the difficulties, but there is certainly no escape.
Other people loved greeting us with just one word, “missing.” That says it all. I find it hard to believe that anyone besides my mother would miss me, but she has to miss me, it’s her job. I think the missing is genuine though, so I’ll accept it and move on.
We missed Malawi, too. Of course, there is so much we didn’t miss. I won’t start my usual list at this point — ok, just one: mosquitos. As I sit here on my wicker couch, one just got me on the big toe. I hate those little things.
Now that I think of it, I didn’t actually miss anything about Malawi. If I’m being honest, I didn’t even want to come back here. I could go on and on about all the things I didn’t miss about this place, but, when I stop to think about it, I can’t think of one thing I did. Maybe real sugar Coke? But, you can get that in the States now.
I guess the interesting thing about the day we live in is that everything is about what I want or don’t want. Well, if that’s the case, I don’t want to live here. But, here I am, of free volition, back in Malawi, and so grateful I’m here in this place I don’t want to be.
A Franciscan Nun named Mary Kerr said this, “To understand the Bible’s use of the word ‘meek,’ we should picture a great stallion at full gallop. At his Master’s voice, he seizes up and comes to an immediate halt. He stands holding his great power in check, listening for the next order.”
I think of myself more like a donkey ready to carry some tourists on a walking tour down the Grand Canyon, but still standing, in check, listening for my next order.
I’m learning I don’t need my life to be about what I want to do, where I want to be, or who I want to become. I don’t need my life to be about doing something I don’t want to do, either. I just need to be in the place that God has for me to be. When I get my orders, then I’ll run as fast as I can knowing I’m doing what the Master has called me to do.
The great stallion is still listening for orders when he is at full gallop or when he is stopped. I would like to think that in both cases meekness is the picture.