I realize I haven't updated this with anything very worthwhile for some time. I haven't felt in the writing mood lately. But today I was sitting out on the lawn in front of the base (we have a beautiful lawn here – a good place for quiet times) and God was speaking to me about seasons. I have spent a lot of the past month dreaming and wishing to be somewhere I am not. I've been looking forward to going home for Christmas, and pretty much since the beginning of October I've been dragging my feet through each day and week that brings me closer to home. Part of that is natural, I know – looking forward to going home and preparing yourself mentally – but part of it has to do with my heart.
Don't get me wrong, things are fine here – wonderful in fact! It's been a fantastic term! The teachers God provided for the school have been amazing. The new students have fit right into the ELS family. We've had fun outings together, amazing intercession times, and seen so much improvement in the quality of the school and in the standard of English. This week we spent one morning doing some evangelism in town and even led one man to the Lord! I have so many reasons to rejoice. The staff handle so much of the work which means that thankfully my responsibilities are considerably less than last term when I was juggling leading two schools, handling the finances, and teaching all at the same time! But despite all this, I find myself tired and worn out and still longing for something else. As I told someone the other day, it feels sometimes like all the world is going on around me and somehow I'm stuck in slow motion.
And today when I was sitting and pondering all these things with God, telling Him all the aching and the longing and the restlessness in my heart (as if He didn't already know) and demanding some answers, He spoke to me about seasons. There are times and seasons for all the things in my heart in due time. But right now this season is for South Africa. I am here. I don't know what God's plan is for the days ahead, but I know that right now His plan and His perfect will has me right here in South Africa. One of my favorite quotes by Elisabeth Elliot says, “Let not the longing slay the appetite for living.” She wrote that about being in love with Jim Elliot, but I think it applies to any area of our life when we are longing for something or someone or somewhere else (good things even) other than where God has us now. If we spend all of this season where God has us longing for another, we'll miss what He has for us right here, right now.
As I was sitting outside I was watching this duck wandering around on the lawn. It was so funny to see a duck here considering there is no water nearby, but here was this duck just basking in the sunshine of the end of the day and feeding on whatever he found in the grass around him. When the wind came, he joyfully put is face into it, lifted his wings, and let the cool breeze blow through all his feathers. Here he was, so seemingly out of place, but enjoying himself right where he was.
I thought I want to be like this duck, to enjoy this season and time and place where God has me now and when the wind comes with whatever joys and sorrows and trials and victories it may bring, I want to lift my head into it and face them. I am still looking forward to coming home and to all the other dreams for my future, but for now God has me here in South Africa. And I don't know exactly what the days ahead may hold, but I know I want to live them.
“To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven” - Ecclesiastes 3:1
“And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.” - Acts 1:7
“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” - Galations 6:9