September 26, 2011

james the explorer

Saturday I woke up and had three spats of diarrhea before 8am. I decided to cancel on Krishna. He had asked me to help out and do some tech stuff with him. I was actually looking forward to it, but when I realized that I didn’t have this bug out of my system, I knew I needed to cancel on him. It was hard though. He gave me his cell number weeks ago but whenever he has contacted me he did it with a different number. I looked up both numbers and called, no answer. I knew I had to get a hold of him, so I bailed on him via text message. I knew that it was a horrible thing to do, but I felt horrible and would have been no good to him. I spent all day Saturday doing laundry, watching rugby games and then watching soccer games. It was a pretty good day for staying inside all day. Tim and Akshey came in around dinner time and I sat and watched a movie with them.

Sunday was my last full day here in Kolkata and it was bittersweet. I really ahven’t felt bad about leaving Kolkata. I think this is because I’m so excited about my next couple of flights going to new places. We all went to the early service at church so that the Shaw’s and I could go out for a nice brunch; I treated. I felt like it was the least I could do after they let me stay in their home and eat some of their food. Back to church, Pastor Ivan was gearing up for the churches conference next weekend. His message was on taking what you know as a Christian to your city and friends. When he announced his topic I kind of wrote off the sermon. I thought “oh I don’t really need to listen to this because I’m leaving tomorrow.” Yet again though, God seemed to show me something special in that message. Every time I write something off God always proves me wrong. There were two things that really stood out in the service.

A) being salt and light to the world.

B) not conforming to the culture that surrounds us.

Let’s talk about A) for a bit. We have all heard this saying in christain circles for years, but I never knew what it meant. Well the light part is easy, but what does the salt mean? Why should we be the sodium to the world? Pastor Ivan explained that in Jesus’ time, they didn’t have any way of preserving food (espically meat). The only way they could preserve it would be to rub salt into it. Naturally, if you left the meat to itself and the elements, it would rot. Same with a room, when the sun goes down, it becomes dark. Pastor Ivan said that we can’t blame the meat for going rotten, just like we can’t blame the room for going dark at night. These things naturally happen. Our culture, when left to itself, will turn rotten and dark. That’s why we are called to be the salt and light to the world. We are all born evil and when we are left to our natural desires, we become rotten.

B) stood out for obvious reasons. I am going home to a culture that is different then what I have become used to. Adapting back will be tough, but I don’t need to be controlled to that culture the way I was before. I am going back changed and I need to remember that to stay focused.

In the afternoon, Monique gave me the questions to the debrief they do. I had thought through most of these questions in my head already, but putting them on paper helped. These are similar questions people are going to ask me when I get home, so I should have some answers ready for them.

Then we went to evening church. Hope was singing an ensemble for part of the service. We had to go to encourage her. The funniest part was right before Hope went up on stage. She left her seat when right before she needed to meet backstage. She decided she had time to go to the restroom, but she didn’t. Once the rest of the ensemble were on stage waiting for two minutes or so, Zac asked if Hope could please come to the stage. She didn’t come, she was still in the restroom. Tim called her and told her they were waiting for her on stage. She rushed out and ran onto stage. She looked so embaressed. I felt bad for her. I laughed at her, but I felt bad. We played if off later as Hope just making a really elaborate entrance. She preformed very well.

As it was my last night in Kolkata, I went out with some other young adults from church. We had such a great time playing games and chatting. Zac kept going around telling people to not say good bye to me because I was only going home for two months and then I was coming back. I kept laughing. I didn’t know if her was trying to force prophecy into my life or if he just had the facts wrong. I have really grown quite fond of these guys. Jobin and Zac are really cool guys that I would hang out with again. Jobin said he’ll be home for Christmas, so I think we’ll try and get to together then. Zac has never been to Canada before, so I told him he now has two good reasons to come and visit (Jobin and i).

As I write this I’m sitting in the airport waiting for my flight to Nepal to depart. For those that don’t know about my next travels. I am flying to Nepal for three days. From there I go to Dubai to meet up with my cousin Matt, and his wife Kristy. We spend the weekend together there and then travel together back to Kuwait where I will spend a week visiting with them there. Then I travel home. I would like to take a quick moment to thank video games. I know that sounds weird, but, video games are keeping me entertained while I’m sitting here. I watch the Indian army guys walk by and I look at their guns and thanks to the video games I have played in the past, I am able to, correctly, identify what the name of that gun is. On a more serious note, it is weird to think this is my last moments in India. Maybe forever, maybe not. It’s not in my hands. I still don’t know what is next for me but I think that’s ok. I’m sure when I get home some doors will open for me. 

Originally posted to james the explorer