After blogging several times about my trip to India and expressing how much of a positive experience it was, I have to admit I glossed over the negative experiences. Someone might object – “Isn’t a negative experience a relative definition? Aren’t they negative only because of your viewpoint?” To that objection, I would concede in part. But consider things like: sleepless nights and long bus rides. Consider spiritual attacks by demonic forces. Consider how several teammates were stricken with Delhi Belly – who seemed to have done everything right. They didn’t drink the water; they took preventative medication; they ate what was set before them like everyone else and yet only they got sick. Consider how I was bitten by something which nearly paralyzed my leg. I have been bitten by insects before and never had such a reaction like that before.  If that is not adversity, then I am not sure what you would call adversity.

However, this is not the only negative experience I want to blog about. Two weeks in India does not make you an expert. To use a movie analogy, that was only the trailer. I got a glimpse of what working in India doing humanitarian work through a Christian organization is like. I got to hang out with wonderful people from my church and from the organization. So what is the negative part?

For one, I did not get the same calling to go back this year. That’s right, a calling. For trips like this, you don’t go because you think it’s a good idea. A good idea is fleeting. A calling lasts longer than a meeting. You can think of nothing else. You are not happy doing anything else. You experience fulfillment in your calling. Was last year’s trip just a “good idea?” I don’t think so. Despite several obstacles which were not obstacles in retrospect, despite fundraising nearly 100% of my trip, everything fell into place.  Psychologist Carl Jung would call this synchronicity. Others might call it coincidence. I call it divine orchestration. And yet, the same thing did not happen this year. The deadline for applications came and went and I did not know about it. No one reminded me nor did the team leaders asked whether I would consider going back. I ended up going on vacation instead. What happened then? Did I lose interest? Did I stop caring about the people there? Did I stop loving people? Meanwhile, several others have just moved to India on a long term basis. Others from my team are returning for another 2 weeks.

My short answer: I don’t know.

My long answer: I really don’t know. Ask me in another month. 🙂

All this has left me at a loss. Who am I? Where am I supposed to be? What am I supposed to be doing? In my quest for answers, I seemed to have forgotten several things.

1. I want something. God wants something better for me.

2. Not my will, but God’s will be done.

3. Wait. Wait actively.

4. Taking matters in my hands often results in making matters worse. If not worse, then no change.

5. It’s not just the destination but the journey.

I would like a neat conclusion, except for matters like this, there is no neat conclusion.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s