Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Desert Trial

I would like to take the time to be honest with you about how I'm doing. I won't be brutally honest, because I think it would be immensely foolish of me to put that much of myself out for the entire universe to read.

Many people have been asking me how I'm doing. My answer has generally been "alright" or "okay." But really, my spirits, on a scale from one to ten, are at about one and a half. There is something about sitting around with nothing to do for three months that really saps a person. I really tried, really, to be productive and to teach myself Czech and to practice my trumpet and to steep myself in Lutheran and Reformed theology. I really did. But there comes a point, after being delayed time and again, when there is no accountability, no sense of purpose, no motivation, no one to talk to, nothing to talk to my parents about... One can only read so much, one can only go jogging so much, one can only watch so much tv or play so much spider solitaire or play with the cat so much, one can only sleep so much. It begins to really erode one's stamina.

I have been characterizing my lack of productive activity to the inquirers as laziness. This is not true. I am not lazy. I simply have no desire, no motivation, no reason to do all the things that I so meant to do.

Today I had a wonderful opportunity to escape the house for a reason today, and had the chance to speak with a friend of mine. He expressed his deep sympathy and called this period in my life a "desert trial." I took this to be an allusion to Christ's 40 days in the desert following His baptism (appropriate, since we are in the season of Lent). Something about that really resonated with me. I experience long stretches of this dry, dusty, cracked style of living that I am going through, and then occasional oasis pops up-- a weekend away with my family, a visit to a friend, the rare "beautiful day"-- and I drink deeply at it, but I must press on.

So, please pray for me. Please give me words of encouragement. If you see me and I tell you that I'm fine, don't believe me; I'm probably actually miserable. Please pray that my visa comes soon and that I can go fulfill the plans God has been preparing me for. Be an oasis.

1 comment:

Andrew said...

That's rough. I'll be extra sure to keep you in my prayers. When I'm president, LCMS missionaries will get special priority in receiving visas.