As many of you know, I have had the amazing privilege to go and travel down to Siguatepeque, Honduras for the third time on an adventure with Jesus. I continue to be amazed at this country, the people, the atmosphere, the food and everything else that comes alongside. My team and I have returned for about two weeks now and have been making the transition back into our lives here in California. As I have been processing this trip and everything I have experienced, there was really only one word or phrase that summed it up for myself.
There is a pretty famous guy named Michelangelo, maybe you have heard of him. When he was 87 years old he said the words "ancora imparo". This phrase is so simple, yet so incredibly powerful. "I am still learning." For some people that might just mean in school, maybe at their job or with their family, but for myself this phrases encompasses life. In every aspect of my journey, I am still learning, and there will never be a time when I am not learning.
In order to learn, I have needed to fail. In order to learn grace, I have needed to fail. In order to learn forgiveness, I have needed to fail. Missions trips are hard, they are difficult, frustrating at times, incredibly rewarding, joyful, and even confusing. They are a time to stretch and to grow in learning who we are as a person and who we are in Christ. When you spend almost a month with nine people 24/7 things start to happen. Laughter can be uncontrollable, feelings can get hurt, inside joked begin, buttons get pushed and the real comes out. I have always struggled with a serious perfectionist side of my life. On the outside I can be completely cool, chill, and calm but on the inside I am tearing myself apart. Fun fact, we are not perfect, and never will be. Guys, that's refreshing, because if we were perfect, where would Jesus fit in? Heck, I don't want to be perfect, that would be boring. I want to be a mess, because being a mess means I get to be me, the person that God has created me to be. I screwed up while I was in Honduras, I made countless number of mistakes, said the wrong things, was negative, mean and just downright ugly sometimes. It wasn't until a while into the trip that I realized something was wrong and began to see the affects it was having on relationships and the team. It is because of the grace, love and forgiveness that my team has shown me that I get to see a small glimpse of the grace, love and forgiveness of God that I so often at times forget. We can do two things when we figure out our mistakes, the first being recognize it and ignore it or the second, recognize it, take hold of it and learn from it. A few days after our return I had the chance to go to lunch with my mom and as we were sitting and talking it was my chance to show her the grace, love and forgiveness that I have been shown by friends, teammates and God.
I will never stop learning. I am constantly in awe of the work that God is doing in not only my life but in others around me. To see the faithfulness of God and prayers become answered in unexplainable ways is work that only comes with surrendering to the Father and accepting his teachings. If you are like me, I can get really focused on one specific thing, it is hard for me to see the big picture sometimes. A few nights ago I was out to dinner with some friends and as I was watching my niece color on every inch of the paper with giant lines and scribbles that she called boats, it occurred to me that for her, the picture inside the lines didn't matter, the entire paper was worthy to be drawn on. So often we forget that the lines that are drawn are just a suggestion, but because our culture has taught us perfection we focus on precision instead of creation.