Thursday, August 16, 2012

this and that

In just a few days our team leaves on another Central American journey to bring clean water to a point in the world that doesn't have it. This time its a village in El Salvador. It's another, never been there and can't really find it on a map adventure. Even Google Earth can't pin it down. That's really ok for me, it just adds to the mystery. Having done this before, these next few days are when I know that I need to cleanse myself of all expectations and experiences from prior trips because chances are extremely high that it will be entirely different than any of the others. it's a whole lot easier said than done though...leaving the expectations behind I mean. It goes against human nature....or at least American culture. Most of us really like to know what's around the bend...unless maybe your last name is Lewis or Clark. We are molded that way. Our culture and way of life has conditioned us that we shouldn't have to deal with unexpected situations or suffer with unintended consequences. The reality is thoug that the world in which we live in is, a great deal of the time, a cause and effect environment. Do this and you get that. Now I will admit, sometimes the "that" takes a great deal of time to occur...sometimes so delayed that it's hard to identify who did what to cause "that". Trace it back far enough though and you can probably find a legitimate "this" which has, over the years, caused an identifiable "that". This doesn't have to be bad news and uncertainty all around. Fortunately, the creator of the cause and effect world that we live in, at least in my own pastoral artist opinion, also responds, for the most part, within the guidelines that He has created. In those instances where this is not the case, we often refer to them as miracles. In my case, in our case as a team and a community o' faith, there is some cause and effect about to take place in a very remote part of El Salvador. For years, followers of the creator have prayed for the ability to draw life giving water from the ground. I know this because each time we travel to a place such as the one we will be at next week I am told of people, worlds away, that have prayed this specific prayer. I, and the team I am a part of have the honor of being part of the "that" which in reality is an answer to their prayers. Not only this team, but our church community, the organization that makes this all possible, and the graciousness of the community in which I live, are a part of the grand orchestration of God's cause and effect. You might argue that the water should be clean in the first place. I would call you to find the origin and I will bet, that if you're honest, there is some human "this" which has contributed to "that". I'm just grateful that the one who created a world of order in the first place has a plan B when we've messed it up. I've been part of plenty of "this" in my life over the years, I'm now honored once again to be part of the "that" of God's great love.