Sunday, August 23, 2015

Boxed In

I've been back from my mission to Vietnam for twenty-two days now. School is seven days in and I am almost in a routine once more. I like my school schedule, I think, but I would prefer non-back-to-back planning periods. I'm not complaining, though. At my previous two stops, we only had one. I don't have much time to recover from my trip before school starts so some stuff I have to do on the fly. When I go on these missions, I am going by myself as opposed to my first thirteen trips when I was part of groups. I have several folks helping me, primarily Sherry Ann who books my tickets and Ann who handles my finances, but life basically stops for me the several days before departure. I clean up the kitchen and the bathroom but a lot of stuff just lays where it is. So, I have some straightening up when I get back to my normal life.

If I do say so, I've done a pretty good job of re-acclimating this year. The first several days are always spent with thank-you stuff and getting pictures developed as well as getting into a school frame of mind. But the apartment scenario is always lurking and I can't ignore it. I love living in a spotless apartment- I just don't like cleaning. Still, I have vacuumed, 
shined the bathroom, scrubbed the kitchen, emptied the suitcase, and washed all dirty clothes as well as iron every nice item I owned. I have dusted a little and paid all my bills (just threw that in there) and sorted all of my Vietnam memorabilia. There's just one catch- the box you see at top of this entry. 

I always through the kindness of our school take WCS shirts to the folks in the church in Vietnam and this year was no different, as well as a set from our youth group at church. Then, Lisa Berglund, our Wildcat Store manager, gave me access to a BUNCH of WCS t-shirts and PE shorts we have never sold. My goal was to stuff as much as I could into two suitcases with 50 pound weight limits. And I did, as much as humanly possible. There were still a good number of shorts/shirts when I headed out the door at 4:30 AM on July 8. The box had been there since I am guessing July 1. And as you might have guessed, it has not moved an inch. I have cleaned to the right and left of it and all around it but it remains where planted more than seven weeks back. I keep thinking this is the day I will put it up but it hasn't happened. Maybe I am slow because I'll have to come up with a place for it in the closet and move something else to make some room but it doesn't matter. I could have dealt with it when I walked back in my place at 9:45 PM on August 1 but I let it linger and it has become an eyesore, if only to me.

I am convinced many of us have obstacles in our lives like that box. We know we need to take care of them but something gets in the way. Often, it might be something minor we just procrastinate into being something major. Maybe it's laziness; maybe we just get used to it. I've been pretty close to having my place presentable but ONE THING remains in the way. Jesus told the rich young ruler he only lacked ONE THING. I'm not approximating a box of light clothing (which I will stuff in my suitcases NEXT YEAR) with what have been an enormous fortune but many of us have a stumbling block that we leave lying around to our own detriment. Stuff like that tends to trip us up. Jesus taught two thousand years ago that the road to life is narrow and they haven't added any lanes. Let's not make that path any harder to navigate.

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