GI Journal Project: Flexibility and Little Adventures

I’m working on a collection of stories based on my Global Internship journals and previous blog posts. The following story was originally posted under the title, “Flexibility and Little Adventures.”

 

“What is that smell?”

Distracted by the faint smell of melting plastic, we turned away from language lessons to see Amy pull the power strip out from under the table. A glance at the smoldering wires suspended from her fingertips confirmed that the power cord for Jaree’s laptop was burning. We were both shocked and relieved as Amy pulled the cord from the power strip and tossed it into the living room. As though nothing had happened, we turned back to our instructor with a murmured “maaf” (I’m sorry) and our Indonesian language lesson continued.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been advised, “Flexibility is the key to a successful internship.” After two months here, I’m discovering that it’s true. We make a grave mistake when we’re unwilling to embrace change resulting in growth. The joy and wonder fade when we allow ourselves to become embittered by unmet expectations.

I’m thinking of yesterday’s smoldering power cord and the distractions, interruptions and sudden changes that are part of everyday life. I’ve often been tempted to see them as parentheses or “time outs” in the course of my day yet these are the moments when flexibility is needed most.

My unwillingness to take life as it comes is a great joy-stealer and strength-robber. The ability to laugh over spilled milk (or rice) and laundry left out in the rain is desperately needed. Learning to let go and let life happen has enabled me to view these interruptions as little adventures rather than trials. After all, it’s not every day that you catch a bird stealing candy from your purse (I just caught one trying to take my Mentos) or leave tea boiling in a tin kettle so long that the kettle melts to the stove!

In the end these little adventures are opportunities to exercise faith in God’s sovereignty. If I am willing to trust Him for the grand adventure of sixteen months spent in Indonesia, should I not also be willing to trust him for the day to day challenges of life wherever I am?

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