We were asked recently what a typical day for us looks like. We were actually confused by this question, unable to answer. Not because we don't have plans, or love routine or schedules, but because there is nothing typical about living here. Someone even asked this question of us last year, way before we even left for the mission field. As if we could possibly answer what our life would be like in a place we'd never been to sometime in the near or far future. We still marvel at this question. Apparently, missionaries in other places do, too.
Case in point:
We live in the desert. Rain is very rare. There was a drought for nine months last year. It began pouring the day we arrived here. I never did tell you how we spent an entire day, all five of us terribly sick, squeegy-ing the rainwater out the door of our little apartment as it threatened to flood us out and soak all our earthly belongings. Things are not built for rain here. Now it's raining again. This is Day 3 and it's supposed to thunderstorm again today, as well as rain tomorrow. Four days of rain here? Unheard of.
We spent Saturday night and all Sunday evening moving buckets and towels around as our tin roof leaked like Niagara Falls during the torrential downpour this past weekend. Our house is a new construction, so I guess as the first renters, we're the lucky ones to discover something's not quite right with the way they laid the corrugated tin sheets on the roof.
Our leaky roof didn't spoil our plans because we didn't really have any for the weekend, besides maybe rest. Very last minute, at church, while Tony was talking to several people, including the pastor, about all that is going on up in the slums, they decided to, very last minute, all head up for a visit to see how we can further help our new friends there. So they went. Including the pastor. And, shocker, he didn't have to check his Day Planner first (love that).
While they were up there visiting, it began to downpour again. As I ran to place our only bucket under the biggest leak, I yelled at the kids to "Grab towels!".
They screamed and grabbed rags. Little itty bitty rags.
As I was yelling, "No, TOWELS! BIG towels! In the closet! In the bathroom! I don't know, just grab towels! AHHH!" the three year-old was walking around in circles with her little hands on her cheeks exlcaiming, "Ow howse is fwudding, ow howse is fwudding! Oh no, who wiw fix it?"
How do you make plans and complete them when your roof spontaneously springs massive leaks like that? After a while, you learn to "make plans" with quotation marks around them. You never know what could happen in the third world.
In the end, I do think we accomplish a lot here, eternally speaking, in spite of our lack of "planning". Definately more than we did in the US, Tony and I agree. God doesn't need our schedules and plans and meetings do His work. They can be an aid, even a help of course, but sometimes they can be a big hindrance.
Down here, we go with the flow. We have ideas, we make plans, and we have visions (many visions) for the future, sure. Just like Jesus did. But we go with the flow. Just like Jesus did. He was walking along one day, on his way to somewhere to see someone, and BAM. A woman with bleeding issues interrupts his day and *gasp* touches him. He stopped and helped her. His apparent plans and schedule were delayed. Shame on that wretched woman. He was late for a meeting. People were waiting for him. He had a PowerPoint presentation he had to give. He didn't get there when he was supposed to.
When we talk about walking as Jesus walked, what if it looked this way? Would it be wrong? Or Christ-like?
Well, I must get back to drying out all the towels we own before the rain begins again. Shame we don't have a dryer. I do pray the rain stops. But, if not, I guess it's God will for today that I mop up my wet floors. His grace covers leaky roofs, wet floors, and even more rain.