Monday, August 16, 2010
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Moving. Change. Pulling up roots, breaking relationships, forming and reforming friendships. Setting up a household here, then packing it all up and starting over again in Africa. All of these things have been part of our lives in the past decade as we first gave up our country home in America, my surgical practice in Virginia and left for Africa. Since then, it was one year in Africa, one year back here, three years in Africa, and then back here for an extended furlough. Now, after some soul-searching and lots of logistics, we are looking to leave again next summer for another three year commitment. But of course, with plans to leave again, we put down roots cautiously, always thinking of breaking relationships, changing jobs.
I took a temporary job an hour from home. Its a nice situation, but it leaves me alone, on-call, away from my family every night I'm on call. For me, it's those times when my heart and head sense a little longing for permanence.
My wife would love nothing other than to be in one place for a long, long time. Instead, with me, she gets a constant diet of change! Oh how grateful I am for her willingness to sacrifice for the sake of the gospel.
I read and reread the scripture. This world is not our home. We will never completely feel at home while we are here, will we? Or am I just excusing my restlessness as Biblical, finding some spiritual reason for moving my family so many times?
A "call" to serve in a cross cultural setting has clear scriptural mandate ("Go into all the world...") but it is clearly not for everyone. For me, a wise friend shared that it often comes down to the four Cs: character, competence, compassion, and chemistry. Do I have the character to work in the situation? Do I possess the needed skills to do the work? Does my heart find tenderness towards the plight of those I serve? Can I work effectively as a team member or does my personality grate those of my coworkers?
For us, we can answer all of the questions honestly: we are equipped, available and have fit in well in a team. And so, with some soberness, (but also excitement), we plan to uproot and go again.
I think turning the question from the positive to the negative can reveal our motivations or perhaps our selfish reasons for staying behind: Instead of asking yourself, "Why should I go?" Ask yourself "Why shouldn't I go?" If you immediately think of all the things you've accumulated as a reason not to go, perhaps the things you own have started to own you.
Concerning the Great Commission, we have three options: 1) Go! 2) Send! (and that means giving your time and money to help those who have chosen option #1) or 3) disobey.
Just my musing on a hot, summer day.
Grace to all of you. The picture is a look at my family as we look ahead to leaving again...
Posted by Harry Kraus at 9:53 AM
Saturday, August 7, 2010