Lost and Learning
On Saturday, October 9, I arrived in St. Lucia to officiate a wedding for some great NCCers. On Tuesday, October 12, I arrived at the St. Lucia airport to leave Paradise and return to real life in Washington, DC. Granted, it was real life that I am very excited about-- a recon field trip for leadership retreat, some planning meetings with Team D for the upcoming leadership summit, a webinar with small group pastors around the country to encourage them to stay strong when community gets messy, preparation for a small group leader conference-- the stuff I love to do. It is now two days later, and I'm still stuck at the St. Lucia airport.
It's kinda like being one of the survivors of Oceanic 815. On a beautiful island, sometimes loving it, starting to hate it, becoming good friends with your fellow passengers, realizing there is a very real chance that paradise just might be purgatory in disguise, and most significantly, learning more about yourself than you really wanted to know.
Now, before I get all of the sarcastic comments about how terrible it must be to be stuck 3 extra days in St. Lucia, please allow me just a moment of bellyaching to paint the most accurate picture. We are not on a beach. Or at a pool. Or on a golf course. We have been lied to by the airline. Been rebooked, entered security, gone through customs, watched our bags be packed and unpacked by security, and sat for hours upon hours more times than we can count. We sat on an airplane for four hours yesterday and have been out of the bed before 4am for the past two days. St. Lucia Airport does not equal the experience of the rest of the island. I won't mention the problems with credit card freezes, the inability to make international calls, or the day I was asked if I was the groom's mother.
I'm lost on the island, but I'm learning:
- Nothing reveals the quantity and quality...or lack thereof...of the Fruit of the Spirit in my life more than airline travails.
- Perspective is everything. If we have to be stuck for three days, the opportunity to get in a swim on an island beach (on the day we actually got to the hotel on time) makes the rest of the day much better.
- This is an opportunity to ask how God might want to use me to encourage another, to surprise someone with undeserved kindness, to show his love in some practical way.
- The things that sometimes seem so "urgent" in my world still rest securely in the sovereignty of God-- and he never seems to be in freak out mode.
- My team at NCC-- Team D-- Will, Maegan, and Josh-- are rock stars. And when I'm out of their hair, they get great work done.
- Next time I want to experience the Caribbean, I'm going to DisneyWorld, It's the happiest place on earth. And their version still has pirates.