Most people are aware that we are taking a trip to Haiti in just a week. There is quite a dynamic in play at this point of the trip. For one, life here continues. I prepare my sermon, prepare for Sunday School class, go to the gym, eat my meals, sleep, attend meetings, all the things that make up my life.
And add to that trip preps. There are the details of preachers to cover for Sunday, making sure the med orders are in, inventoried, and set out to be counted. There were (and still are some) medications to count and package. Many people came to help out, and I was able to do my work while they are here, but still there are labels to print, my share of counting, and of course, people I enjoy talking to. I got email from team members asking questions, the people in Haiti checking on what we are going to do, want to do, need, and make suggestions. Before long, the day was gone and time got away from me.
On the other side of that is the anticipation of the trip. I find myself walking through stores, thinking about what we might need, want, or just 'wow. That is cool." I have started dreaming about Haiti. Some are pleasant dreams of past trips, the people I know and finally get to see again. I dream of the food. Rice and beans are OK, but I am so looking forward to the fruit. Yet, I have been there enough time to know that all is not bliss. Paradise has it thorns and I dream about them as well. Some are car troubles, some are people troubles, come are food issues, or the challenge of water, and not melting in the heat. I am not sure which is more stressful, going on the first or second trip, or your 20+ trip. Each has its own anticipations, good and bad.
All that said, I can't wait to leave for Haiti. The days are crawling and speeding at the same time.
A trip of any kind mimics our spiritual journey, which I suppose is a trip in its own right. It is made up of all the same elements. There are joys on the journey. People we meet and the help we both offer and receive. Also, the joy stealers of this journey. Hard days, sad days, people who hurt us, challenge us, who are hard to love.
We have our regular journey days, and special journey days. Oh, so often I look forward to that day. That day may be the day Jesus arrives, or the day I depart this life. Life is good, and life is hard. Life is fun, and life is so very unfun. Life is life. And so we, with the Apostle Paul, await the day. And until then we dream and do, go and live in His grace.