One of the first things you learn in Buenos Aires is to watch where you walk. The sidewalks here are in disrepair and people don’t always clean up after their pets. Not paying attention to your feet as you shuffle along on the crowded streets is dangerous business and will eventually lead to falling on your face. Into dog poop.
I have met people whom God has given a long-term vision for their lives. They have a clear calling, a lifelong ministry or path placed upon their hearts. To be honest, I am jealous of that.
There have been times when I have been sure of what to do. God clearly showed to me that I would serve him overseas as a Journeyman. Even when circumstances said otherwise, I was able to walk with confidence, knowing that God had revealed his will to me. But that doesn’t always happen to me. In fact, it rarely happens to me. Actually, maybe it was just that one time.
Here’s a confession: I have my moments of God-given courage, when I’m high on my idealism and not looking anywhere but the end goal. It was that sort of courage that brought me here. But most of the time I’m a big fat coward. I can never say the things I want to say and my attempts at boldness usually just fall short into awkwardness.
Sometimes it feels like the more I strive to be like Christ, the weaker I am. But I think maybe it’s just making me more aware of how weak I’ve been all along, how dependent upon him I have unknowingly been. One of these weaknesses is the constant need to know “What’s next?” It laid dormant while in college because I had four comfy years planned out. And then came graduation and then the need came out of hibernation. (A glimpse.) I’ve got over a year left to live in Buenos Aires, but already I’m tempted to ask myself the question again.
It’s springtime in Argentina. The Jacaranda trees all over Buenos Aires are in full bloom and purple buds are opening and falling and covering everything in a soft, lavender blanket, obscuring the imperfections in the sidewalk. The city is showing off after a long, wet winter. This week was Thanksgiving and I spent my first real holiday away from family. I gave thanks to the Lord for bringing me here to this place and the work that he did in my life to get me here. And today as I wandered around Palermo aimlessly, I asked God why he wouldn’t show me what was next . . . and then I tripped on a raised sidewalk tile.
Sometimes I just need a lamp for my feet. Sometimes I just need to ask God to show me what to do today. Because there is always some sort of mysterious unknown lying ahead in the future.
When the path is rocky, when it’s new, when it’s full of obstacles that can trip me up, it’s best just to focus on one step at a time. Of course it’s easy to run with my eyes up on the smoothly paved track that I run on every day. It’s familiar. And it’s boring. I don’t want my life to be a paved, familiar, boring path. I’d rather risk the poop every now and then. Even if that means I have to keep my head down and keep trusting.