Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Atlanta to Doha

About 3 hours into my 15 hour flight from Atlanta to Doha, Qatar I realized the older Indian woman next to me was going to be an issue.

I had switched from my original window seat to allow an older family of 3 to sit next to each other, and then given the man that switched with me the aisle seat. He had to sit apart form his three kids, and the aisle seat would put them next to him. It made him more comfortable, and I was happy to oblige.

Thought I was starting this deal on the right foot. Little did I know that feet would be the problem. You see, my reward was the continuous game of footsie that this woman played in her sleep. Like an invading army, her feet not only came into my narrow territory, but felt it necessary to connect with my own. Throughout the flight I came to realize just how cuddly this woman was. Spoiler alert, it was a lot.

This, coupled with my sinus congestion, and honest lack of desire to be traveling at all had me repeatedly asking the Lord the same question. Between each repelling of a foot attack I was wondering why in the heck I was headed to Uganda in the first place.

And even now as I sit in this sweet airport lounge in Doha, which we got into courtesy of Megan Parham and the Lord, I’m hearing children squeal octaves currently unknown to science. And I’m wondering again. Why the heck am I going to Uganda?

On paper I know why. I’m training logistics and safety. Both things I enjoy doing. And I know, as I always know, that once I arrive and see all my people it will be a great experience. Meeting the squad will be fantastic too.

I know this.

Recently I was conveying to my wise and wonderful girlfriend why I wasn’t all too keen on this trip. I was missing valuable work time, I was traveling again, I had been sick, and probably most important I was missing time with her. Overall, this trip has felt disruptive.

She, once again wise beyond her years, asked me a simple question. What has the Lord said about it?

I laughed the way I always do when it dawns on me I haven’t brought the King of the Universe into my problems. I had no idea what He thought.

The latest volley of invading foot-forces seemed like a great time to ask.

And you know what? I have absolutely no idea what the answer is. He did allow me to sleep most of the 15 hours, which is extremely rare for me. So that was pretty incredible.

Look, I know it sounds ridiculous. I’m getting to travel, again, for work. This will be my 23rd country visited. Not terrible. And I’m getting to train and pour into the next generation of Racers. But anything can become tiring. And anything can be difficult.

So as I sit here, realizing I have 11 more hours before my next flight, I guess the lesson for now is that I don’t always need to know. There doesn’t have to be some giant reason in flashing neon lights for you to do something the Lord has called you to. Honestly, I’m not even sure you have to like it. And even then, to know that any unfortunate feeling situation can be turned around and made better. That goodness and choosing joy can bring fresh life into anything.

Obedience isn’t conditional. You just do it. You do it because you were told. And you do it because you believe in the sovereignty and goodness of your Father in heaven.

I’m going to keep asking the Lord what He’s up to. And pray against any more cuddly, old Indian women. We’ll see what He says.

But for now, He’s given me the only answer I need. And that answer is “Because I said so, and because you are going to serve the Kingdom through it.”

And that’s going to be good enough for me.