Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Thinking on *Things*

As some of you know, we are having a very difficult time limiting our packing. On the one hand, this trip is supposed to last forever so there are certain things we want, on the other hand, we will be traveling a lot and don't want to have a lot to weigh us down. 
We had decided to take three duffel bags and one backpack, but due to Zach now being certified for Scuba, we decided to upgrade to a second small bag, just for dive equipment. In case you are wondering, that does not include tanks.
So..after much purging of things, we left for Colorado Monday night, with three perfectly weighed duffel bags, one heavy backpack, one dive bag (so far so good) and one extra carry-on stuffed to the full (not so good,) We also had the cat, but since she is staying in Colorado, I'm not counting her. Now, we have to pick up my dive equipment and there's a board game we really, really want to bring.
What does that mean? We have to purge just a little bit more. At one point, I told a friend I am only bringing my Bible and deoderant, but I'm sure you see the drawbacks in that plan. It's so overwhelming to think about, but I saw a couple inspiring things on the interwebs today that I hope will help us out. After all, it is just STUFF. STUFF doesn't help you serve Jehovah, although a quality skirt and pair of sandals definitely helps.
So here is a story. I've read it before, but it really spoke to me today about the need to be simple.
An American businessman was standing at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellow fin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish.
“How long did it take you to catch them?” The American asked.
“Only a little while.” The Mexican replied.
“Why don’t you stay out longer and catch more fish?” The American then asked.
“I have enough to support my family’s immediate needs.” The Mexican said.
“But,” The American then asked, “What do you do with the rest of your time?”
The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life, senor.”
The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds you buy a bigger boat, and with the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats. Eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats.”
“Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the consumers, eventually opening your own can factory. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually NYC where you will run your expanding enterprise.”
The Mexican fisherman asked, “But senor, how long will all this take?”
To which the American replied, “15-20 years.”
“But what then, senor?”
The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich. You would make millions.”
“Millions, senor? Then what?”
The American said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take a siesta with your wife, and stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos…”
Perspective, amiright? The man already had exactly what he needed to be happy. Just enough for his immediate needs. Something to think about. It's when we start thinking about our wants, or that our wants become needs, that we have a problem. That is why we are told to keep our eye simple.
At the RBC, I talked to a lot of families that are devoting their lives to service, in RBC, Sub CO work, etc. I asked them about how things worked out so they could leave their current lifestyle. What steps did they have to take? Each really emphasized reliance on Jehovah and sticking to decisions once made. For example, one family was invited to do Assembly Hall Construction for many months. They had a house, a car and all the things that go with it. But they said Yes to Jehovah and started preparing to leave. Unfortunately, the house and car weren't going. Yet they stayed by their decision to leave, and two days before they left, they got a renter, and the last day their car sold. Jehovah knows what we need to continue to serve him.
This was very encouraging to me, because we too have things to get rid of, like that car you keep hearing about. I had been posting online for many weeks, or even months in some cases, to get rid of our items. Well just as time was winding down to leave, what happened? Suddenly we are selling our stuff. We are starting to get interest in the car. We have a plan in place in case it doesn't sell for a few months. Everything has fallen into line. __________________________________________
This is a humorous list borrowed from our friends over at Declarando Las Buenas Nuevas
You know you're a need-greater when:

10) You recycle foil/teabags/some other article for reuse. "These still can be used..."

9)   You view any purchase you are considering not in dollars but in months.  "I can buy this or stay in my assignment for one more month."

8)   You carry a little plastic bag in your field service bag "just in case we go to a house with a mango/orange/guava tree"

7)  You manage to travel all over the world while not having a job or any visible source of income.

6)  You buy shoes/clothes based on comfort, not style.   "These will work great in service!"

5)  You consider being without water or electricity for hours "part of the ambiance".

4)  You no longer need an alarm clock as the rooster or tortilla/fruit/vegetable/sound car wakes you out of sleep every morning.

3)  You no longer use a calendar, you tell the day of the week by your bible studies.   "I studied with Alejandro, so it must be Tuesday"

2)  You look forward to your bucket bath at the end of the day.

1)  When you're home visiting family you keep thinking of how much you miss your assignment.  " I can't wait to get back home!"
My favorite three came from the comment section
  • When you start getting sleepy at 8:30 and are in bed by 9pm. (For us, more like 7pm)
  • When you go shopping at the supermarket because they have AC.
  • When you enjoy drinking your Coca Cola from a plastic bag.
Any you would like to add?

1 comment:

  1. Hi my name is Savannah. You don't know me but I found your blog since I find others info on needgreating very helpful. In just 14 days my family of four moves from Washington state to Mexico. I am tired of deciding what to bring, how to pack it, or where to leave it, as you well know all about how that it. But I am assured by your comments in this post and felt lighter by your reminder to rely on Jehovah. Thank you!