My friend Pamela cutting my hair last week as our friend Ashley watches. I thought I’d save you from the picture of me covered in all the hair she cut off.
This past Monday at our weekly team meeting, my friend Will talked about casting our cares upon the Lord. The focus of the talk was on those times when we are in “the valleys” (ala Psalm 23:4). But something that really stuck with me was not the “valley-times” or even the “mountain-top times” (ala Matthew 17:1-8), but that most of the time we are at the “base camp.” Even for me—out here in Central Asia.
I’ve heard many amazing speakers at many conferences tell amazing stories of their experiences in Venezuela or Sudan or Bosnia or the Philippines. But when you pull back the curtain, what you realize is that these handful of amazing God-encountering, faith-encouraging stories are gathered over the course of three or four years. Most times, we’re at base camp.
Here in Central Asia, I mostly do things I would be doing if I were back in America. I don’t live in a tent—I live in a college dormitory. I don’t hunt for my food. I wouldn’t even know how. I walk to the cafeteria and buy it. I hang out with my friends, and talk about things that we care about—soccer (okay, maybe I don’t really care about soccer, but they do), movies, how terrible the internet is here, what our buddy should do on his first date, and about God. Where are the buckets of water being licked up by the fire from Heaven? Why have none of my staffs become snakes? (Maybe I need to buy a staff?) Where are the prison doors bursting open, and where is the guard and his entire household joining the Kingdom?
Most days are at base camp. To paraphrase Someone greater than me, “to those who have been trustworthy in small things, greater things will be given to them.” Daily, I have these everyday conversations, and I can’t help but think of what Jesus said in John 3: “If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you bout heavenly things?” If my friends here don’t find my trustworthy in the banal day-to-day of life, however would they want to come to me in a crisis. And if they don’t find me trustworthy in these “earthly things,” like what to do with a loud roommate, how would they ever trust me with where they should place their faith.
Let us not grow weary in our life at base camp, but let us thank God everyday for the opportunity to walk with him in these “earthly things” he has for us. After all, every day here is a privilege.