It’s been just over 2 days since we arrived back ‘home’ but I’m reminded of a comment one of my missionary friends said to me many years ago. “We can leave a place physically but we have not left it emotionally.” I am here in Canada but my heart is not here. I am not ready to talk to anyone except those who have been on the trip. It is normal to feel this way---to want to re-live the ups and downs, the challenges, the joys, the laughter, the tears and heartaches, to reminisce about the kids we met and the stories that touched our hearts. All of this is part of that mountain top experience of a short term experience but we are also called to come down from the mountain. It is easy to stay there to relish in those divine moments. These are the classic symptoms of re-entry culture shock that I and a few of my teammates are encountering. It will take some time for the heart and soul to realign with the head. I am not surprised that I am feeling this way but it’s been a long time since I had this kind of emotional response. I just have to be still and allow the Lord to do what He needs to do --- to speak to my heart according to His timeline and not to rush the process. It takes strength to wait but it is in the waiting that I often discover new life and new inspirations. So now the hardest part of this journey begins. Waiting and resting in His faithfulness to encounter another divine moment of His choosing and timing that will ultimately lead to a deeper transformation within each of us.
Today as I return to work and walk down a familiar street in the financial district, I am once again faced with the realities of working in an environment that affords me the opportunities to go to Asia annually to encourage, refresh and bless others. I love what I do here but I face this ongoing tension of two passions---one that enables me to work in a dynamic marketplace and the other which pulls at me to be in Cambodia. At times like this, these passions seem so far apart and yet God has shown me that they can be integrated. I head to my desk on the trading floor, research reports strewn over the desk and chair. I turn on my computer and am greeted with 758 emails….methodically I delete about 100 of them in an hour. It’s easy to go through the motions but I know that too will pass. So for now, the words of Jim Elliot are my solace: “Wherever you are, be all there,” not living in the past and not fantasizing about the future. God wants you in the present because that’s where His grace will flow. God meant it for good also means you can look expectantly toward the future. Come Lord Jesus, let your grace flow down as we look to you with anticipation. Teach us to walk in your ways regardless of circumstance or mindset.