Turning the Corner

Living here is like waking up.

We’ve been in Central America for six weeks now, my family and I, and personally, the transition has been tough.

Not because we weren’t called.  And not because we weren’t absolutely certain that Costa Rica was the next chapter in our story.

Plain and simple, it was just hard. The letting go of everything familiar for the brand-new and untried. The adjustment to an unknown way of walking out the day, a foreign way of processing life, an alien lens now mine through which to see the world.

The first morning and every morning for a couple of weeks, I would wake, roused by a symphony of birds trilling outside my window, and in the grogginess of half sleep I would question:  where am I?

Am I here or there?

In the glow of the past or smack-dab in the middle of my future?

Where am I, really?

As days blended into weeks, I began to grab hold of something pulsing down deep, something waiting to be noticed.

Costa Rica is sharp.

Rich.

Alive.

The safety of daily comfort was being stripped, and I had these open, throbbing places in my soul; I just wasn’t sure what to do with them.  Finally I rolled over one morning and realized that I was ready to listen.  Not just to the bevy of birds, but to the quiet hiding just behind their song.  In that moment, truth came in a rush.

In so many ways, our Western busyness becomes a sedative for our souls, lulling us into numb unawareness of the sharper, richer beauties of life.

Our focus and goal, our singular aim becomes comfort.  Comfort of mind, of body, even of experience.  In our frenetic search for comfort, we skim right past the depth surrounding us.  The vibrancy of a world created to thrill us with its intensity fades to worn gray, its galvanizing pricks numbed in the chill waters of complacency.

And I had to ask myself: from how many things do I insulate myself in my rush to pursue comfort?  I can become so protected that I am carefully, intentionally inoculated from the grandeur surrounding me.

There is depth here in Costa Rica that I cannot explain.  Depth of relationship, experience, growth.

And through the filter of grace, I can see it.

The passion of Jesus is too great; He’s too jealous a lover to allow me to continue to just exist, comfortable in my status quo. So He allows me to be exposed to pain, challenge, hurt, and I startle awake, pulsing with an awareness that there is so much more.

There is always so much more in Him.

My comfort challenged, I realize that splendor has been waiting just below the surface of my determined reach for ease.CR1-b

Not all of us are called to pull up and move to a foreign mission field for the long term.  But every one of us is called to really live.

So we abandon our props, our soul sedatives and we come awake.

Wide awake to the pain and beauty.

Wide awake to the challenge and glory that is abundant life.


Photo by Josh Wray (#josh_wray)

 

Turning the Corner