With both of my loved ones napping the day after our 24+ hour travel home, I finally have time to collect my thoughts about our Christmas/Wedding trip to America.
Being in America is always bittersweet for me.
I love being with family and realize just how much we miss them while we are in Korea. It especially makes me realize how much fun Caleb would have if we saw cousins and grand parents more than once a year. So traveling to America is very sweet because we get concentrated time with family and I get to watch my son love on his cousins. I always underestimate how much I will love this part of our trip. So Sweet!
Most people would expect the bitter part to be leaving all that sweetness.
While it is true that it is sad to leave, that is not the main thing that is bitter for me. The bitter part of every trip to America is that I see the tendency that I have to latch on to comfort and desire it. Sin seems to creep at my door during trips. It becomes a fight for my family and I to keep our eyes on Christ. Thanks to our parents and our churches in the states, this Christmas was still a reminder of God’s great love poured out for us in his son, but in the midst of great reminders, I still have to fight being lazy and distracted.
ESPN called my name most mornings as I would try to read (We don’t have a TV in Korea so no ESPN), I watched more movies with my son in 10 days than I have all year, and time that I may have spend in reflection I filled with good things like family and food. Now none of these things are bad, but even good things can be distractions.
But I don’t think that in the momentary distractions are even the worst effect of the sin in my heart. The worst part is that I a still fighting back the discontentment that tends to set in while away from the country that we are working as resident aliens in. For me is started when I got my hair cut by someone who could understand my instructions and even made small talk (That was so refreshing), and continued with running errands to places like Target, Walmart and Wells Fargo.
It was all so easy, and feeds my mind with thoughts that moving back would be good. What happens when I allow thoughts like that to linger is that I begin to forget about or disregard all the great things that God has been doing in me and through in Korea. And then I forget that God has called us here and that He means to continue to use us and change us.
Every missionary deals with discontentment at some point. We do not quite “fit” and it is not comfortable in the country or ministry that we were called to. Yet, we do belong to God and his mission has sent us to where we are, therefore we really do “fit” more than we ever thought we would.
It is a paradox but I do not want to let sin taint my view of what God is doing in our life and ministry here in South Korea.
May God be honored as my family and I respond in faith that what He has for us is better than the comfort America offers.
(And as we pray that our family would come and visit us in our here…. Because we will never be able to get enough of them! Smile)