OK, so between the old October 2005 issue of Adventure Sport magazine and the long prickly leg hair growing back from months of not shaving before races, I probably should face reality and stop fantasizing over total dominance in triathlon competition. Life is my biggest nemesis against this obsessive dream. But #8 on my of “Don’t die wondering” list is still plaguing me. Why can’t I shake this? I’m 34 years old and I should be retiring from this sport, not trying to begin my career chase. This obsession is not dying easily. I’m not even sure it’s possible to do this “just for fun” or as a hobby. It just keeps mutating into another venue like Xterras. I don’t know what to do.
What am I thinking? Language school, master’s degree, house church, speaking in chapel, plus trying to live in a foreign country and all that entails with driver’s license, residency status, etc. Then, when Travis gets here, the temptation of ditching it all and running off to explore Central America, instead of practicing my pronombres and verb conjugation. On top of all that, I still want to train for racing. Not to mention taking time for the occasional game of chess and reading a good book, or even building my own house. Sure, why not. While I’m at it, I could find a cure for cancer and pray for world peace. Goodnight, I sound like Miss America. Talk about drama queen.
Yeah, I think I need to reassess my priorities. Not to mention my overactive imagination. Perhaps I’m a superhero trapped in a human body… oh yeah, and how can I forget discipleship and serving people who are in need of hope and perspective. Perhaps I lean to much on the hope side and need to gain a little more perspective of my own. No wonder I struggle with contentment. No wonder I’m not good at any one thing. What’s next? Piano lessons because I got inspired listening to Jazz with Bob Parlocha? I need to go surf. Either that, or admit I’m having a mid-life crisis. Except for the fact that in our classes for counseling we learned that is just a benign psychological title for a dangerous soul condition of selfishness.
Catch up 101:
We left Costa Rica over three months ago with big aspirations of practicing Spanish, training for two Xterra events and doing our Master’s degree work. Not to mention packing up the house and putting everything into storage in order to return. Then, going to California for family and two more weeks of classes, Canada for two weeks, and Ohio for one week to speak in churches, leaving barely a month on the front and two at the end before trying to move here for the long haul.
So, here we are, sitting in Pavas, Costa Rica, trying to recover from a whirlwind of chaos. I have no idea how we pulled it off, but we accomplished only a fourth of what we set out to do. Why does life always seem to work like that? I suppose if I were an optimist I could say, “Look how much we did in such a short amount of time!” But looking back, I wonder if we would have worked so hard without the external pressure? I think not. This is a lesson in and of itself. Which brings me to my latest campaign: “WE ARE NOT GOING TO LIVE LIKE THIS ANYMORE!” These are the words I preached to Krista a few nights ago lying in bed after a disastrous and chaotic week of last-minute scrambling to “get the job done.”
The house was a wreck:
Painting over stupid colors that were never planned, but just spontaneously purchased because it was on sale.
Steam cleaning the dirty carpets stained by coffee, dog pee, and potted plants that had over flowed.
Putting in a new kitchen floor since it was down to bare cement because we were tired of the stained carpet, but too cheap to do it right.
Fixing a pipe inside a closed wall that had frozen in the winter and finally finishing the landscaping mulch job that I was too cheap to do because I ran out of mulch two years ago.
Then, of course, cleaning out the garage and then the shed so we have a place to put our loot in storage, just to name a few.
But not to mention all the unexpected squeezes of God like a torsion spring breaking on the overhead garage door two days before we leave which I could have fixed for a few bucks, but instead paid some guy $50.00 an hour to do 30 minutes of work.
Having the house termite inspected and treated because we discovered our little two body segment friends kicking back in our porch. Yes, I said “in” and not “on” and who knows what else they are in.
And last, but not least, the washing machine leak that flooded the laundry room and Krista’s closet (which I respectfully declined responsibility for and walked away).
Here’s what I think the bottom line is: pushing my body to train for some race or adventure out in the middle of the wilderness comes as a welcomed strain of life. Heat exhaustion, dehydration (or, in my case, hyponatremia), muscle fatigue, pingueculum from eye strain in extreme conditions, cuts, bruises, and beatings from nature, all of which is joyfully embraced in the evolutionary psychology of “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
But, when it comes to spiritual training, I have the endurance of a spoiled child. You know the pouting attitude like “Why is God not helping me?” or “Why is He doing this to me?” or better yet, “Why is God allowing the devil to get away with torturing my delicate and fragile soul? I’m a princess! Everyone should be taking care of me.”
No, I’m a Christian and I should be looking out for the interest of others not myself. Not only did the Almighty give me everything I need for life and godliness, but He also instructed me in exactly what His will for my life is… Oh yeah, I forgot 1 Thessalonians 5:18 “But in everything give thanks for THIS IS THE WILL OF GOD…” My Dad reminded me of this before I left for Costa Rica right after the washer exploded all over the floor.
OK, so to make a long story short, the bottom line is, “Life is not my evil nemesis.” I am not a victim of my circumstances, my environment or my genetic background. Jesus said in John 14:6 that He is Life! When I curse my days, I blaspheme my God. Pouting is just my manipulative way of telling God He does not really know how to take care of me and I think I could do a better job if only He would do what I asked Him.
But, instead, my attitude should be like the words in Thessalonians; “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for THIS is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” So, in everything that happens in every day that it happens in, I gotta give thanks, for THIS is God’s will for my life.