Friday, November 30, 2012

Seeing through the rain

Driving down the freeway the rains start pouring out a flood from the skies. It’s dark and gray and your windshield wipers can’t seem to catch up. The wakes from the cars in front of you create a blinding white fog of mist you can’t see through. Technically you are almost blind yet you can physically see, but just not through the cars wake in front.   

What do you do? What have you done in the past? Most likely you trusted the road you have traveled before. You keep driving and pushing forward because you know your exit is someplace down the road that you can’t see. Your GPS isn’t even working because of the weather but you think you know how long it will take to get there. You think.

Then you see some red and then a little more red. Lot’s of lights making you wonder what is up ahead with all the cars slowing down. Those same cars had been pushing you to move faster only a moment ago.

Now they are slowing down and waiting. You think “maybe an accident”.  So you wait, and you wait, and you wait. Finally the cars are moving a little more now. Then you pass by the “accident” and say a prayer for the tangled mess it looks like. Inside you secretly thank God it wasn’t you.

Eventually you do get to your destination and when you walk in the door you’re a little more thankful you got there because you know someone didn’t make it.

Life is like this sometimes. Sometimes your struggling to see your way through the rainstorms in life and just when you think your getting through it and finding that mysterious exit you have to stop. You hit a few thousand red lights telling you to slow down before you become the accident.

It’s hard to have faith to keep driving in the rainstorm. Sometimes your GPS isn’t telling you how long it will take to find your way through it to the place your not sure where your going to.

The thing I take comfort in is that I know my God is the ultimate GPS. No, He doesn’t always tell me how long my storm will take to get through, but I know I am not alone in the car.

He is there beside me keeping in His eye out and giving me a little head’s up as to where to swerve and not hit those pot holes I could see myself getting a flat tire from.  I can drive in and through with confidence trusting the road he has traveled before. He guides me on. I may not be able to fully see it but I know He does and that is enough to keep me on the road, though the rain, and into the sun.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Lost and found in Mexico

We were lost, it was official. Somewhere south of the California boarder, near the ocean, on a street with no name connected to another street with no name, we stood looking for a sign. How did we find ourselves walking down an unpaved street in a little town in Mexico without kidnappers in sight?

We had a purpose when we started our little journey five hours earlier. We had left Tecate, Mexico with three English speakers and one Spanish speaker on a quest to pick up a large table just across a few towns or so and deliver it to the Spanish speakers new home.

We had all piled into the truck and took off without a map. We knew the general direction and had our smartphones from California so we thought we would find it easily and enjoy the adventure of a ride in the dangerous Mexico that we had heard all these crazy stories about.

What we found was that we were riding along in another country where the signs didn't read in our language or even make sense sometimes to even the Spanish native speaker. There were few signs at that and some pointing in the wrong direction, even toward a bridge that was not quite finished.  Thankfully we didn't totally follow that sign over.

Along the way we also encountered several kind Mexican people who would give us directions from stores and even out the window in a passing car.  It seemed they knew that there was not a clear way to find places in Mexico. Losing your way in a foreign land could have been a scary and tense thing but because of the awesome people in our big white truck we all just laughed and prayed.

So there we were when we ended up on that street that we were sure had to be THE street even though we couldn't find a name on it or a sign for it.  Our brave leader got out and decided to go house to house and ask.  I was walking along side the Spanish speaking native Mexican and I just smiled. I took a moment to stop and just watch him.

It was amazing to me how he just engaged these strangers who were obviously not the Mexico kidnappers we hear about in the USA. These were true Mexicans, just neighbors in a neighborhood helping out someone asking for directions. This is when we got to experience a true picture of Mexico. It is the people.

I think the face of Mexico for me isn't about the mafia or crazy kidnapping stories. It's is about the face of the elderly lady in a humble home that we visited in our search. She had a sweet smile and a heart to help us, even engaging her daughter to help us in our quest.

Mexico is about the hearts that live there. Yes, it is a poor country in comparison to ours, but a kinder one for it. Only in Mexico can I see a dog sleeping on a roof of a house or could I roll down my window and ask my neighbor car for directions.

We never did find our destination in Mexico that day. It was getting dark and we needed some good food from our temporary home base. Yet, this little adventure trip for me was not wasted.

I learned more about my friends in the car and that they could roll with it and not sweat the small stuff. I saw a picture of Mexico that I love. A picture of a humble everyday life Mexico you can't see on the news or in tourist zone. Real Mexicans who have a humble life that we can't imagine living in and yet they smile, love their kids, and live happily ever after.

Yes, we were lost in Mexico that day but truly we were found in a way. At least for me I saw how I can get caught up in the stuff of this life forgetting what really matters is people. God sees our hearts that beat to the same rhythm as the Mexican people. I will not be praying that they get the money to fix their country but that they find out God loves them right where they are at. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Running on empty

I almost ran out of gas today. I was busy this weekend with my to do list on fire and kept putting off getting gas thinking I would do it "when I had more time".

Then this morning I had a small but opportune window of time in which to get gas yet, I was driving someplace without a GPS to find gas in an area I did not know and had no gas stations in sight.

I looked at my little orange warning on the dashboard of my car and thought "It would be great if in every area of life I had a almost out of gas light pop on."

When is it time to stop and fill up the tank? Sometimes it is all about making those necessary endings happen. There may be bells, whistles and fire engine sounds before we get the drift that we need to end something in our to do list because we will eventually stop running on that empty tank.

Rest is productive. I just have to remember that.