Now that Thrive Africa is definitely in my immediate future, I have been vigorously spreading the news (whew, that was a lot of linking you all to different pages!). I’ve told co workers, family members, friends, some strangers. I’ve told those I’m close to, those I’ve only known for a short while, those who support me, those who are skeptical. And I can say that the reactions have really surprised me. Some people I thought would be encouraging have been anything but. Other people I thought wouldn’t care at all have expressed deep interest.
Forest Gump was right..life is like a box of chocolates…you really never know what you are gonna get.
A few weeks ago I wrote about how I want to live an eyebrow raising life. I now have the opportunity to jump feet first into living illogically (at least for two months)- and the reactions have been incredibly revealing. It’s a little scary, and very risky, for me to share my heart with others. My heart is pumping excitement for South Africa right now. To reveal to people (especially strangers!) my plans for the summer is not like me. I would normally cling tight to my news and only sparingly tell my plans. Now, I’m blabbing to everyone. I can’t contain my heart- it’s spilling over into my work, lines at the store, and phone conversations with family.
I’ve had the opportunity to experience reactions to an illogical life. The old adage ‘be careful what you wish for’ has entered my mind more than once. And while I don’t regret my decision to serve with Thrive, or my wish to have an illogical life, I’m not sure I understood all the implications of following God- especially when it doesn’t make sense to the world. Not only have I been bombarded with the realization that many Americans do not know much about Africa, but I have also had other’s junk thrown onto my excitement. Some people don’t understand why anyone would spend their summer serving in another country. Some don’t understand how I could walk away from my job for two months. Some are concerned with my safety in South Africa. Some don’t know what I mean when I say South Africa and think I mean southern Africa. Some wonder if I’ll have electricity and windows.
It’s been interesting to say the least.
If I’ve learned nothing this year, I’ve learned that oftentimes, the way someone reacts to me has more to do with their own heart than with my words. I’m clinging to that as I continue to risk and talk about my heart for Thrive.