Hello goodbye. It’s time for this traveler to place her roots and unpack the boots. The airplane has landed and there are no more buses to whisk me away. The long road less traveled has been traveled. Home sweet home awaits. Though it’s not as I remembered. The roads are less chaotic; the air is cleaner. The sun is farther away; the stars are closer. That far off land from the King and I has come to life. I have traveled the world and have gotten to know a different culture. My mind has expanded, and my thoughts have grown. The next step is up to me. Do I continue on in this western mentality? Do I consume until I have consumed no more? Do I just run past people on the streets and don’t even see their faces or do I sit back and think what are they thinking? The choice is up to me. Am I going to stay on this path or am I going to go the other way?
We are asleep. The sun is not yet up. It is 3 am and the rooster begins to crow. To us this is foreign and annoying. Who would ever want to keep theirroosters under where they sleep when the only thing in between you and that rooster is a sole wooden board? Let’s just say our morning began earlier than we thought. As we awake, we step out of our wooden house and see the hills and the trees. We are in a Karen village. They live so simply, but they sure know how to live. They live in a community. A true community, a place where they share everything and help one another out. Together they work and play and help one another survive. Without one another, they might not make it. We could learn a lot from this community.
To follow the trend of everyone else I am going to write about what our devotions was on today: the Pilgrimage we are on. Though to the outsider we are just a large group of tourist. Though no one wants to be a tourist because tourist has such a negative term. To be caught taking pictures of some ruin, or caught wearing khaki shorts and a bright Hawaiian shirt would just be dreadful.
To call it a Pilgrimage we are suggesting that we are “a person (group) who journeys to a sacred place for religious reasons.” (www.oxforddictionaries.com) We are journeying to a place not necessarily to a religious destination, but on a spiritual journey of our own. The Hebrew word for pilgrimage is maguwr. The root of maguwr is guwr, which means Sojourner. To be a sojourner means to “dwell, afraid, stranger, gather together, fear, abide, assemble, stand in awe, gathered, inhabitant, remain,” (www.blueletterbible.org)
We are all sojourners, we are just passing through. We are all in this country. It is strange, it is different, yet we are surviving. We are at times so engulfed in the unknown that we become familiar with it. We have become familiar with this city and soon we must uproot. At times it seems like we will never really get it, but we do. we understand our surroundings and begin to learn the reason for it all. As we learn about the Malaysian culture, we learn a little more about ourselves. we are all on a journey wither it is towards a personal growth spiritually or even to just better understand one another. we are all getting there, one step at a time. As Christians we have received the promise from God of eternal life. He never promised our journey would be easy, in fact He said it would be really hard. so we press on to see the goal.
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls .You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin.” Hebrews 12:1-4
On the other side of the planet, yet I’m not really sure what to say. There’s so much going on and not enough time to take it all in. My brain almost feels like the typhoon that just went through the Philippines. I don’t quite know what to think. It doesn’t quiet seem real to be here. I’ll be sitting in the bus and we will be passing by a mall and the next thing I see a jeepneey flying past the bus window. I am strolling in the mall, watching, as this girl is texting on her cell phone, then I stop and listen and hear people shouting in Filipino. Nope, I am in the Philippines. As much as we see the similarities between the West and the Philippines the differences are there. Though everywhere you look you can see how the Untied States has made its impact on the Philippines. The one thing that the US did not touch is the Filipino hospitality. Filipinos are really hospitable and love to serve others. We in our western culture could learn from them. Seeing the way that they love everyone and serve others makes me want to strive to be like that. The fact that you never hear them complaining even when they have nothing is amazing. We could learn a few things from the Filipino culture.