Monday, August 15, 2011

They Are There....

And I Am Not

New York that is. Staten Island. Battery Park. Broadway. Statue of Liberty.

You know the place. The city so nice they named it twice.

Our church's mission team left yesterday for a week in the Big Apple to learn, grow, experience, and share. They will be assisting a local group in a big annual clothing distribution. I have been guiding the development of this trip since last fall. Mission trips are my passion. New York is one of my favorite places to go.


Because in New York you see all you need to see about the needs of your own community. You just see it through a great big magnifying glass. It's right there in your face, especially if you are from out of town and not become blinded by the familiar of the streets. The awareness raising there is second to none. And it is right here in the USA.

This would have been my sixth or seventh New York mission over the past 40 years. I have gone other places at home and abroad, but this was a new opportunity with a new group. But things didn't work out the way I had planned. As I have written here before things began to go south with my back a couple months ago. I tried to push it off. i tried to convince myself that it was going to be okay. Even when I went to see the surgeon I convinced him (and myself) that the surgery could wait until the end of September. All my travels and plans would be done then.

MY travels. MY plans.

As I have heard around the recovery community more than once:
If you want to make God laugh, tell God YOUR plans.
Then I had a moment of clarity. I can't walk that much without going VERY slowly. Have you ever tried to go slowly in New York? While leading 11 other people? Into subways and through Times Square?

Me neither, and this wasn't a time to start. Then I realized that there were some subtle but not positive changes happening. What if I am in the middle of the trip and the back really goes out? How would that feel? How would that help the mission? So I gritted my teeth and scheduled the surgery for tomorrow.

And stayed home as the crew left yesterday.

I know they don't need me to have a great experience. New York is the experience. Mission and service is the adventure. Not me. They know me. I have done my part. It was time to let go and let God do with them what God has had planned all along.

Having said all that, tomorrow is my surgery date. If all goes as planned- and as it did last time- I should be home by Wednesday afternoon. I probably won't be able to give you a report until Thursday, so I have a couple posts already to go for the next two days, at least. I am feeling good about the plans and grateful that my difficulties aren't getting in the way of the group who had worked so hard to go on this trip.

Talk to you again soon.

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