I can’t believe 2 months in Ethiopia have already passed me by. Seems like just yesterday I was writing my first blog about deciding to even go on this trip! So now, the countdown is officially on… three weeks, six days remaining before I go back to the good ol’ USA. I have missed my family, friends, church, etc. I am even planning to visit my brother in Atlanta and then my Grandma in Virginia, upon returning.
But, I have had such an overall wonderful experience that I can truly say I will also miss it here when I leave. Besides being in love with the perfect weather, the friendly people, the amazing customer service skills of workers, and the stress-free environment, I know that I will have to be super aware of my spiritual walk upon returning home. What does that mean, you ask? Well in a place like this, on a gig like this…where I am able to relax in the luxuries of a 5-star hotel environment, meals & travel paid for, while singing 4-nights a week; I encounter minimal distractions.
Back at home, it’s all about hustle & bustle. Everyone is in a rush. Life in general is faster paced. Every weekend there’s a birthday party, a wedding, a bridal shower, a baby shower, a graduation, or something to attend. Add to that other commitments, family functions, and work and you barely have time in there to pick your own nose. You have the constant demand of decision making… Can I make time for this? Do I say yes to that? Note that I haven’t even added prayer, reading, church, or ministry atop the list yet.
Whenever my mind drifts off to this place upon thinking about returning home, I get weary. I have to check myself and remind self that GOD and the things of Him should come first in my life…even at the expense of other’s not getting my time and attention. This is an easy stance for me to take here on another continent, but being real with myself, I know it has not been as easy at home.
So here I am saying to myself, Having God means I already have EVERYTHING! He is not moved by how I feel, how many prior commitments I have made, or who’s feelings I don’t want to hurt. He is moved by my FAITH. Although emotion can come as a result of praise, PRAISE IS NOT CONTINGENT ON MY EMOTIONS!! I heard Holy Spirit say so loud and clearly to me today, “GET OVER YOURSELF! Yes all these factors are true, but unless you plan to become a resident of Ethiopia anytime soon, stop trippin’ and just DO WHAT HAS TO BE DONE TO ENSURE YOUR SALVATION b/c after it’s all said and done, you have to go back home.”
How can I allow this experience and the peace of Ethiopia to dwell within my heart? How can I allow it to minister to me about what is important? I have to focus on taking the essence (if you will) of what I experienced here and applying it to life at home…no matter how different or difficult. God gave His ONLY SON… I can at least make an effort in this area to improve my walk with Christ which in turn can inspire someone else to get it together as well. That gives me joy. Be encouraged readers. Agape!