Last Saturday when I was in bed ill, Jude and the kids went down to the local Shiloh Community Centre in Cwm Penmachno to watch “Round the Back!” a Christmas show run by the Aargol Touring Theatre Company. My kids had a fantastic time. For the next day or so, Jacob was full of stories regarding Aargol, Turkey O-Pie-O and Snowballs. They had a great time. They were full of joy that I never quite see them have in Zambia. They get close but not quite.
We’ve now been back from Zambia about 5 days, most of which I have spent sick. When I am ill something less then human replaces me, like most men. However, my humanity is now returning, I think!
It’s strange isn’t it, how perspective and distance give you a whole number of benefits. For my children, those benefits are being in their own culture for a while, doing things that they fully understand. It’s not getting stared at in villages and enjoying Aargol and his friends at pantomimes.
For me, already it is to be more mentally relaxed. What Jude and I do in Zambia is very mentally taxing sometimes. It can be exhilarating, but the constant planning, decision making, thinking and cultural difference do take their toll. So, even though we have a number of challenges, we both feel more mentally at rest. I know people think that normality is boring. I happen to believe it is very underrated! 🙂
Another benefit, is just perspective and distance. I recently read an article by the SUMO Guy, entitled, “Riding a dead horse!”. It talked about how we can continually pursue ideas even when they are not working. I think that one of the reasons we do this is lack of perspective. We literally get to the point where we cannot see the woods for the trees. Regular time out is absolutely crucial when you are pioneering work. Without it, you cannot see where you have come from or where you are going. (That;s almost profound!) The thing is, you need to fight the lie that it is time doing nothing. It really isn’t. All of my best ideas have come when I’m relaxed and have a little distance.
It’s also a chance to catch up with friends and family. In 21st century society, these two things, especially the latter are being pushed out at an alarming rate. We’ve got friends in Zambia whom we love dearly, and we also have friends in the UK whom we also love dearly. On that please pray for our respective families. For different reasons, they need it.
There is an idea in the Bible of rest. Time away, time to do nothing, time to take a different perspective and time to see the wood for the trees. Even God rested on the 7th day and saw that everything was good! Likewise, I survey what we have been doing in Zambia and see that it is good, but boy! I need a rest.
Maybe you feel boxed in, have a lack of perspective and cannot see where you are going. One trick in navigation is to get to higher ground and survey the view. One may think it’s time wasted climbing up the gradient to get to the view in the first place. However, that is far better than trudging around, lost, for a large amount of time. The view is where you can see everything fitting together.
If that’s you, take some time, enjoy the view, get some distance and enjoy God. Take some time out on higher ground and regain your perspective. It’s something we need to do regularly. We are literally lost without it.