Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Bright Side

An essential element to survival here is keeping a positive attitude about...well, everything.  A few examples you ask?  Sure, I'd be happy to oblige:

*Like when you get a flat tire in the pouring rain.  Think of it not as an inconvenience and getting thoroughly soaked, but as an opportunity for the Congolese people to show their true colors.  Since the car jack won't work in the mud, 30 bustling men gather around and lift the car while you make the swap.  Probably not good for the car, but neither is driving on a flat.

*Different airstrip conditions (even when I land 2 or more times at the same place, on the same day) keep my skills sharp, and guard against complacency.  Goats are my favorite.  They come out of the tall grass right in front of the airplane, and instead of running back into the bushes, they hear the airplane and tear off down the airstrip, trying to outrun the airplane.  It never fails.

*Think...for every hour the city power is on, it saves me a dollar, instead of...the electricity is rarely on, I should just disconnect it all for good.

*I don't like geckos or palm-sized spiders in my house, but they need a home too, and they eat the mosquitoes (a nice bonus, since most of the windows still don't have screens).  And when they're not eating the mosquitoes, they're having turf wars, so at least it's entertaining.

*One more stomach bug reminds me that I can get antibiotics...a lot of them...for $2...without a prescription.

*A long line of thunderstorms in my flight path is a great opportunity to practice my airplane handling skills.

*A dishonest official is a reminder for me to practice honesty and integrity in everything I do, and a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate His grace.

*The blaring mosque at 4:30am every morning is a chance for me to pray for Muslims.

*An unexpected night away from home is a window into the life of missionaries who have it much, much harder than I do.

*When there's no water, it's humbling to see missionaries sacrifice even more and share what little they do have.

*Every change in the schedule is an unplanned chance to bring glory to our God and be a blessing to those around us.

*Many things are much more expensive here, but the avocados fall off the trees in the back yard every couple months.

*When something breaks around the house, I get to learn new vocabulary in French and Swahili.

I could go on, but I think you get the point.  Every day is a reminder that I have a choice to make.  Every situation is an opportunity.  Will I choose to reflect the image that's been restored in me, or try to make it in my own strength?  Will I climb out of the boat?  Will I deny my Lord?  What's your choice?  Yes, or no, my friends.


Owen said...

Your capability for maintaining a positive attitude never ceases to amaze me, Chris.

Chris said...

The positive usually comes after long periods of negative...I just don't write about those :)