Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Road Less Traveled... for a Reason

People love to ask us questions about our field.

And I love to share about our field!

But sometimes they ask questions that are difficult to answer. They seem like simple questions, but in fact they are quite complicated and have a "long story" explanation.

Take, for example, this simple question:

"How long does it take you to get to church?"

Of course the person who asks this question is expecting me to give a simple time answer ( hours and/or minutes.)

If you are wanting a simple answer, the best I can do is to tell you it takes us anywhere from thirty minutes to an hour and a half... and there have been a couple of occasions where we never made it there at all.

For those who enjoy the "long story," just keep reading.

Here is how it works in a third-world country: We must have plan A, plan B, plan C... and so on. And it isn't necessary to go in alphabetical order either. Our family has found life more exciting when we skip to plan F and come back to plan D if plan F fails. It keeps things lively and fresh.

On the way to church, we may encounter a plethora of obstacles. We have learned how to skillfully navigate those obstacles with a laugh and a Facebook post.

Some of these obstacles are nature. Cows, chickens, ducks, dogs, goats... usually these are pretty easy to get around. Occasionally the cows take a little more effort to dodge. If the chicken decides to cross the road (for whatever reason) and we hit it, it costs us 1000 rupees. That's about $10 USD. Ducks are $14 USD. 

Monsoon season brings its own road adventures and obstacles such as washed-away, slippery, or soupy roads.

Then there is the construction. Construction is never announced. There are no signs or cones in the road. We just come upon it and deal with it. Either we find a way to remove the obstacle, or we must turn around and try plan N. Plan N is not that fun, but it is better than plan Q.

On many occasions, the men have had to remove large rocks where construction crews decided the best place to dump the rocks was right in the middle of the road. Sometimes the construction crew helps. Other times they stand and watch in awe that the foreigner is willing to get dirty by picking up these rocks.

 A few times this dumping practice has forced us to park the car and walk.

Sometimes the obstacle is people, political demonstrations, or festivals held in the streets. We just have to wait until they move on or some kind person clears the way for us to pass through.

Often there are traffic jams caused by narrow road ways and impatient drivers.

All these adventures remind me of another road:

Matthew 7:13-14 "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."

It's not the easiest road to navigate, but it is the only one that takes us to the place we want to go. Yes, there is an easy road, but destruction isn't the destination I prefer. That's where the easy road leads.

So as you think about all our physical road adventures, stop and think about those who are on the wrong road spiritually. What are you doing to get them on the right road?

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