This has been a question that many people have asked me (and something I’ve even asked myself a lot) over the past few weeks and months as I’ve prepared for my service in Tanzania.

What am I doing?

Well, there’s several ways of answering this…

Right now, I’m typing up the first half of this blog in the narthex of St. John’s UMC waiting to meet up with my dad for dinner. (The second half was completed on a couch while watching NCIS… such a great show!)

Also, in regards to what I’m doing, I have been traveling around the States, visiting friends, family and Mother Nature. In the past two months I have visited 17 states and driven thousands of miles. It has been an incredible opportunity to have the time to spend with those close to me and taking in the beauty of this country.

Lately, all I’ve been doing is a variety minor preparations for Tanzania (what few things I can work on ahead of time.) Traveling insurance, Swahili review, prayer, Scripture and practicing the concept of “Swahili time” (which is a system of time where appointments are relative and for everything else you normally double the amount of time.)

And to answer the question, “What am I doing?,” in yet another fashion… I’ve been taking the time to ask myself important questions and get my mind and heart ready for the path ahead of me. Through readings and reflections, I’ve been entertaining the question “What am I doing right now with my life?” Through many conversations with God, I’m about to embark on the next step in my life spending a year in Morogoro, Tanzania serving with the United Methodist Church. This is a great opportunity for me to experience Christian fellowship with another culture and seeking God through a new medium once again. I’m certain that this is what I’m to be doing with my life as I continue to discern what God is calling me to.

And finally, when it comes to thinking about what I want to do with the rest of my life…? Well… I’m not quite sure. I know that I have a passion for working with children and youth and I know that I have a passion for the East African culture but where that leads me…God only knows. I know that I’ve shared this analogy with many people but I love the imagery so much that I just have to share it once more:

It comes from a Scripture verse that is fairly common but one night when I heard it, new light was shed (pun intended!) on that Scripture!

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” -Psalm 119:105

 

Think about it. We don’t use lamps much anymore. Instead, we prefer high power LED maglights. But why? Maglights can shine for what seems like miles directly ahead of you while lamps only show you a few feet in front of you and beside you. As I thought about this and the Scripture verse a little bit more, I agree with the psalmist. The Word IS just like a lamp. When you visualize it, a lamp doesn’t show that far ahead of you but it shows you enough to make the next step forward AND it shows you enough to each side to avoid stepping somewhere that you shouldn’t. Isn’t that what following God is like? Seeking God’s will and following it step by step while avoiding side-stepping which could pull us away from God and away from the person we’re called to be. I know it can be scary and worrisome not knowing what life has ahead of us, you know…just past the lamp light. But the comforting fact is that God is just as much past the lamplight in the dark unknown as he is in the lamplight. And that’s the time where we trust in God and trust in God’s word that God is leading us in the right direction…the direction of love, the direction of forgiveness…the direction that leads us ultimately into the very presence of God. God’s word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path and as I continue to seek God I am confident that as I move forward in life I seek a God who knows what is past the lamp light.

Now THAT is something worth doing… but the question now is… what are YOU doing?
May you seek God in that lamplight as we seek to serve and love others one step at a time.

Mpaka wakati halafu…