April 16, 2008
When you’re on a mission trip, you’re always “on a mission."
You’re after a specific item, or concentrating on one special task. You want to do your job efficiently, quickly, and well.
We travelled the route to Lowe’s, the route to both home sites, the roads to and from the church every day. But it wasn’t until we relaxed or varied our routine, that certain things caught us off guard.
Like if I hadn’t been following the GPS lady, and then come to know the route by heart, I might have just once looked left instead of automatically taking the right into the Lowe’s parking lot. How come I never saw that huge orange Home Depot until we were headed out to dinner on our off night? For one, I wasn’t driving so I could take in the scenery. For two, I wasn’t over focused on an immediate task.
On our last day at the kitchen site, I had another “missed-that!" experience. How could I have driven all the way to Lowe’s so many times and never seen that huge orange Home Dept so many miles closer to the kitchen site?
Also, on our last day at the kitchen site, we decided to grab something light to eat, but had no idea what was around. Why not? We drove to and through that neighborhood at least six times. Once we thought to start looking, a Subway restaurant was right there!
I knew Lowe’s and Walmart were at opposite ends of the same shopping center. But was completely dumb-founded to learn that the Starbucks everyone had been visiting and speaking of was also in the same shopping complex. Man, I wish I’d known that prior to our last day on the roof site. But then again, maybe it was better that way. Me on caffeine isn’t always pretty.
It took me until Tuesday at noon to realize that the school across from the church wasn’t dormant but actively attended. Previously, we had left before school started or arrived back after school had ended. I’m sure I might have figured that out if I had paid attention, but at the time I was over-focused on getting to the work.
I think it only took me only three days to realize that there was a sign at the end of the church exit drive loudly declaring, "You Are Now Entering The Mission Field." Over-focused on where I was going, again.
When you line all those things up in neat little paragraphs like the ones above, it makes you think that maybe you’re not really seeing all there is to see around you. And then it makes you realize, that you haven’t even looked.
Being focused is fine; it’s how things get done.
Being over-focused can cost you.
Why would you even think about taking time to smell the roses when you don’t even know that the roses are there?
I’m not about to commit to suddenly turning over an unfocused, new leaf. I will try to look around a little more whenever I’m stopped at a red light, though.
Posted by jaselin at April 16, 2008 06:37 AM