Wednesday, June 27, 2012

setting the record straight


Got to be honest before I start here...been a long week already.  Been one since Sunday.  

I started writing this earlier this evening.  I got annoyed with it, closed the laptop and spent some quite time.  I got home and sat outside by the fire pit and my attitude somewhat changed.  So I'm rewriting this blog using my "nice words".  

A lot of people have been calling me a name.  They've used this term many times and I've even called my self this name on more than one occasion.  The name has actually become rather offensive to me though.  I really don't like it and I don't like that I call myself this name too often.  That name?  Missionary.  I'm sorry to disappoint you, but I'm not a missionary.  Not as you may think of the term.  

People tend to think of missionaries as having their life all together.  Missionaries don't have bad days.  They don't say bad words.  They never have a drink or smoke.  They have perfect families and relationships.  Life is perfect.  Right?  WRONG!  At least, it sure is for me!  

I had a glass of scotch and smoked my pipe sitting by the fire.  Sometimes, I say a bad word.  Family?  HA!  I love my family, but there're still parts that are messed up.  My mom and I haven't spoken in over a year.  I reached a point where there's nothing I could do to fix it.  Life all put together?  Really?  that's a joke!  I've led a pretty crazy life so far.  I've done a lot of things that I'm proud of.  But I've done a lot of things I'm not so proud of too.  If you know me from back in the Friars' Society, you probably saw some of them.  Perfect relationships?  Yeah, I wish.  I wish I could fix them.  I'm going through something right now with someone I've been friends with for a long time.  After a conflict, this other person is refusing to work through it.  Instead, has said that they are unwilling to put effort into trying to fix things.  I wish I had perfect relationships.  I really do.  

I was reading the book of Ruth recently.  Great book from the Old Testament.  Quick back story:  Ruth and her sister in law are married into this woman named Naomi's family.  Both of their husbands die - no children.  Naomi tells them to go back to their fathers' homes to remarry.  The sister in law does this.  Ruth, well, she doesn't leave.  Here's what she says to Naomi:  

Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if 
even death separates you and me

That's what I want.  I want that same level of loyalty in my relationships.  And I'm not willing to settle for anything less.  I may not be a perfect person.  I've been broken and I have my problems.  But you know what?  I'm still being used in really awesome ways.  I may have a family member or two that I don't talk to.  I have a friend that has stabbed my in the gut.  I enjoy a cold beer or a scotch.  I love a good cigar from time to time.  I'm not what people think of in their heads when you say "missionary".  And you know what?  I don't know many people that are.  What am I then?

I'm a man chasing a dream.  I'm a man that is following a leading in my life to Kenya.  I'm a man who has failed many times.  But with each failure, I've learned something.  With each and every failure, I've become that much better of a man.  I've failed but I'm not a failure in any way.  I love the journey that I'm on.  I love my kids in Kenya.  I can't wait to be back there and start my work.  But not as a "missionary".  As a man.  Plain and simple.  A man.  Nothing greater, nothing less.  Just a man.  

So there it is.  The term that so many like to throw around like some blue ribbon at the fair...it's not so blue anymore.  

And there're my random thoughts for the night.  

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