Friday, November 11, 2011

GUATEMALA 2011: (30) Sufficient for the Day

Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Matthew 6: 34 King James Version (KJV)

La Bamba

In order to dance La Bamba.
In order to dance La Bamba 
a little bit of grace is needed.
A little bit of grace and something else!
Ah! Up and up
And up and up 
and up I'll go!

Welcome to a Guatemalan-style birthday celebration! The morning sun shines new into the valley between the volcanoes that is San Cristobal as firecrackers shake us from our bunks! We stumble pajama-clad and barefoot to the surreal concerto of an authentic Mariachi Band on our patio. Fontaine celebrates the anniversary of his birth among his family, his passion, his mission, and his friends.

Can you feel the moment? It was like Christmas morning... disbelief and wonder as I clear the sleep from the corners of my eyes. Life can be incredible. Moments that play out in flashes and paint the canvas of our mind with endless strokes.

This is Guate living. Several of us sat on the roof of the nearly finished Team House (thank you to those who donated---you are my heroes) and discussed the perception of happiness and need as it manifests in a third world community. How many of us plan ahead weeks, months, or even a year or more into the future? 

What if your next meal was unknown? How would that change your sense of the future?

We discussed how it could be difficult to keep a full cage of chickens, waiting for them to mature and lay eggs and multiply... while your neighbor goes hungry.  How it could be difficult to store away a bag of seed for the coming spring... while your family goes without food during the winter.  How can you think of saving for tomorrow, when your stomach aches today?

Perspectives must shift. The mind is focused to survive for the day. Suddenly everything changes. The found fruit on a nearby tree is a savored treasure. The tortilla that is patted and formed by spit and hand is precious fill for a growly stomach. The water that gathers in nearby tarps is refreshing and invigorating. And when basic needs are met for the given day, a smile can not be kept from spreading across the face. 

I was hungry and now I am filled. I was thirsty and now I am quenched. My family hasn't ended the day with hunger. The breeze blows cool and caresses my face and I am thankful for the provision of the day.

Tonight I will sleep and know that the day was good. Tomorrow will come and I will walk the path again. Each day accomplished is a reassurance that I will also complete the day ahead. Sufficient for the day, and beauty recognized when it comes my way.

So now I again walk the concrete and steel that is Cincinnati, Ohio. Each time I come home from my friends and new family from Guate, my eyes are opened to something new. These past few days I have been blinded by the perspective of my co-workers and some friends.

We walk our days with no fear of what to eat... rather we fuss and fret over calories and how long it takes to be served. We take our steps with shoes on our feet... and envy the shoes of the person who smirks along beside us. We wake up in beds with pillows and blankets, surrounded by walls and a ceiling... and yet we complain about our property value. We go to work a job that hands us a wage that places us in the top tier of all people of the world (click <<here>> to see where you rank)... and yet we stand in the streets with signs and shake our fists. I have spent my day today, telling people that their lives are surrounded with beauty.

And I am not sure that anyone is listening. Can't you hear the Mariachi Band!?! There is beauty to be found!!! No matter WHAT your circumstance. This life is incredible! Have you watched the gentleman, second on the left? I LOVE HIM. I sincerely want to BE HIM when I get old. This man embraces the beauty of the moment!

Please... take a few seconds of your day to let these words rain down fresh on your mind:

25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, 
what you will eat or what you will drink; 
nor about your body, what you will put on. 
Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 
26Look at the birds of the air, 
for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; 
yet your heavenly Father feeds them. 
Are you not of more value than they?
-Matthew 6

Do not allow yourself to be robbed of the wonder of today by the worries of tomorrow. If you could spend a week with the people of Cerro Alto, they could teach you of happiness. They could teach you of perspective. They could teach you of what it really means to be desperate... and yet, they will show you a genuine smile, a tear of thankfulness, and an embrace of the beauty of life.

In order to dance La Bamba... a little grace is needed. Yes, indeed! So true. LOL! I LOVE this... a little grace and something else!

I challenge you, as you walk this day... discover what that, "something else" is and then embrace it. No matter what the troubles of your day... you can wiggle your hips a little and I hope this song gets stuck in your head like it is in mine.

31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, 
‘What shall we eat?’ or 
‘What shall we drink?’ or 
‘What shall we wear?’
 ...For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.
 33 But seek first the kingdom of God 
and His righteousness,
and all these things shall be added to you.

There is a way for us all. And the journey is incredible. Please don't allow yourself to miss the wonder of the day. Miracles surround us all.

I am a Captain. I am not a sailor.


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