So I had it all figured out, I was going to passionately love living out who God created me to be in Cambodia for a while and till I went I was going to endure not having community, stick with my job so I could save to leave. I also had decided, more accurately got so down hearted I’d given up, the idea of starting a business that was to be a ‘voice for the voiceless’ going by the name of Another Way.
There seems to have been a problem with that, a big I AM [the first name God gives himself that he tells people in the bible] sized issue. This feeling started to trickle to the surface as I started to have found myself with out planning or trying having a place in something that is starting to look like kind of a community… somewhere I get to question and wonder about how life is done and could be done…I wasn’t expecting it or looking for it but it seems to be here and along with it a sense of that maybe I’m running away to Cambodia if I go in September has come.
I was chatting to a guy at work who is from the Isle of Man and is married to a woman from Pakistan…and he said something that probably hit the nail on the head when I talked about what I was thinking which is I don’t like consumerist, individualistic, capitalist culture I don’t think it makes people happy I don’t think it sets people free and I don’t think it looks anything like how Jesus or the new testament early Christians did life [which as an aside I think sounds pretty balanced in there community that did lots of being with each other and no one had need because the family of believers looked after those inside and out of there community]…and in this conversation of voicing dislike for culture this guy said that there’s something more pure about doing good stuff in other countries, it’s less complicated and it’s easier to see in another culture the bits that you’re not ok with and aren’t going to buy into. Basically it’s easier to be who you were created to be in another culture…[disclaimer: I mean as a westerner being in another culture, if I was say an Indian woman in India I am fully aware that the same culture that gives me freedom as a westerner would not give my ‘Indian self’ the same freedom] In understanding that it’s clear how mucky and hard it is to be counter cultural and not get drawn in and find yourself having to question or weigh up what and when it might be making compromise for the sake of this culture telling us to is really really hard.
The long and the short is that for now the adventure is here, I think maybe it will always be…I’m sure there will be to-ings and fro-ings but at the bottom of it I get really sad when I see how broken our culture is even though the consensus seems to be that we’ve got it more right than most. I had gone with the leaving it behind because it looked easier to be somewhere else and easier to see a place for me ‘to be the change I wish to see’ than be where it’s all just a bit hard.
In the past God has been a little more gentle in leading me to the adventure and in recommending here is the place to be I don’t see it as less of an adventure I think it’s more…it won’t look so typically adventurous…there’s a super market down the road…but the horizon is as unknown to me as Cambodia. Yet this time I’ve found it harder [a lot] and less exciting to be lead back to the adventure which primarily tends to have a lot of unknowns and a lot of trusting that I AM is in fact I AM [that IS the adventure]. Maybe it was that in dangerously asking God to mature me that meant that I have been given the ingredients for exactly that …things are less gentle and more sudden and I don’t feel prepared for this… well hello there chance to step up to the maturity growing plate your not a nice easy comfortable option are you! What has my response to that offer been…it’s taken me a while to even realise it’s there and recognise the opportunity…well of course it’s been to scramble around in the dark trying to grasp at anything that looks like me getting the control. It has taken me have a really odd dream where the content really doesn’t matter but what made it mean something was that just before I woke up I found myself saying to someone in the dream when I was surrounded by opportunity to be free and creative that ‘please just tell me how to do my job’ because in the dream I was so frustrated that I didn’t know how to do the job, I was overwhelmed by needing to know how the job needed to be done so that I wouldn’t fail or get something wrong. I woke up realising that in the dream the ‘job’ had put me in the place but the job was already irrelevant and redundant but what if offered was wonderful and creative and unknown…it’s a dream so it’s a bit jumbled but what I go away from it thinking is stop trying to have control when you’re not meant to have control. Simple it may be but being it will not be so easy. I know myself well enough that in this bit of the adventure where I will have to step up I will have many moments of scrambling in the dark thinking control is what will make it ok and when the only safe place is trusting I AM. I AM is not worried He is sat on his thrown in complete power and not in the slightest bit worried.