Thursday, February 11, 2010
On Being a Missionary
I expected to change. I thought that moving to a third-world country to work in mission’s school would instantly change me into a compassionate, adventurous person. You believe that when you make these life changing moves your life will change. Sure several things change. You address changes. Your speech changes to adapt to those around you. Your daily rituals change. Sometimes the looks of a “toilet” changes. But me. I don’t change. Myself has followed me to the other side of the globe.
Who I am. The deep essence of me has not changed. I still have the same personality I did when I lived in America. I still make similar life choices now as I did three years ago. I still enjoy ice cream and hate tomatoes. My hair has changed minutely. It’s longer now than it was three years ago.
One thing I really expected to change was my spiritual life. I really expect a bolt of lightning from God. I thought that becoming a missionary meant that God would talk audibly to me every morning and evening. I thought once I moved to a dirty third world- country I would instant be the perfect Christian. Who would have thought that moving to the other side of the world doesn’t instantly make you closer to God. My relationship with God is not magically stronger because I made a huge sacrifice for him. Nope. I still have to pray to see God’s will. Missionaries have no easy button for God.
I also assumed I’d be a more compassionate person because I was living in the second poorest in Asia. Ha. No. I may have become more selfish by moving here. I feel that I have to look out for myself since my life is much harder now. I need to have more “me” time so that I can make sure I’m comfortable in my uncomfortable new home.
Strange. I didn’t instantly change into a wonderful person by moving.