Friday, October 14, 2005

What Do I Miss

A baby brings a complete and utter loss of control when it comes to one's schedule.  And that in itself is hard for me, given how organized I like to be in terms of my schedule.  At my previous job, I was notorious for scheduling back-to-back meetings from 9:00am to 5:00pm, and then starting and ending each and every one of them on time. 
 
No longer, with Jada here.  We are still finding a routine of eating and sleeping, but even when we do, things will just take longer with her.  It has been interesting to see what things I get fussy about not being able to do.  I have been OK about letting go of them or being delayed in doing them, because I am so taken by Jada, but still I feel a little fussy. 
 
To complicate matters, being in a foreign country has also meant a loss of control.  So it has been a nice exercise in stripping down to the simple, and letting go of things that aren't necessarily bad but aren't necessarily necessary.  I guess what I'm trying to say is that as a Christian, I believe that there is a place of contentedness that we should all seek, that as much as we can appreciate God for His good gifts to us, it is even sweeter to appreciate God apart from His gifts.  The image of the poet in Psalm 131 being as a weaned child before God, content in His presence without needing anything tangible from him, is an apt one for me in many ways.  Anything, even and especially good things, can be deterrents to the sweetness of this "being next to," which is why I believe fasting (whether from food or other things) is such a healthy discipline for our souls and our relationship with God. 
 
So here's what I have missed being able to do on my terms, that I have had to "fast" from on this trip: eat, sleep, pray, exercise, have an intelligent conversation, be funny, read, follow sports.  Fortunately, I've had the opportunity to enjoy all of these things, in abundance, even, at times.  And fortunately, I've had the opportunity to fast from all of these things, and enjoy the abundance of being next to God.
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