From Chaos to Peace

21 Jun

One of the dramatic demonstrations at MTI centered around the transition missionaries go through as they move from their own culture into the culture where they are serving.  Starting point…being settled and solid at home.  Finish point…being settled and solid in the NEW home.  The suspension bridge leaves the solid shores of the familiar, spans the chasm of adjustment by traveling through an unsettled phase, entering a chaos phase,  re-entering an unsettled phase, and finally reaches solid shores in the land of formerly unfamiliar.  The elapsed time, in terms of months, can vary with each person’s personality but chaos itself can last up to 18 months with 9 months of instability on either side.  Husbands and wives go through it separately but together.  If I am adding it correctly that could be up to three years.  Maybe we all have transitions in life.

I was asked today where I was at on the bridge.  As I thought about the answer I waffled.  Definitely through the first unsettled.  How far into chaos?  Or when will it seem like just…unsettled…again?  I only know that God carries us over the bridge.  We do not walk alone.  Along the journey there are little islands where we tell God we want to walk on our own feet.  He complies.  We get a complete vision of why we need Him to carry us.  He picks us up again.  Does it seem like chaos even when He is carrying us?  Especially then.  We are like babies being carried past a mirror.  With our backs against His chest we can’t see His face.   Peek-a-boo.  There He is.  He is smiling at us.  We smile back.  That is the occasional oasis.  When chaos dissolves into peace for a moment.  “God is ever-present.  Let us now adore Him and in reverence bow before Him.”  That is what shares hope in our hearts along this challenging journey.

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