Just a Change of Scenery

I was talking to a missionary friend of mine a couple weeks back.  For her and her family, this is a new adventure, but the honeymoon period is wearing off.  They’re now used to the un-American plumbing, the native grocery shopping, and the too-small taxis for their tall American frames.  They’re still learning the language, but their family routines are starting to take shape.  Their new location is slowly but surely becoming normal.

Something she mentioned about Peru is sticking with me.  Just because they’re now foreign missionaries, doesn’t mean their lives have taken on a whole new spiritual dimension.  They aren’t now automatically filled with extravagant grace and miracles aren’t oozing out of their waking hours.  The same struggles of maintaining personal balance, intimacy with God, and family togetherness are just the same as they had been in the States.  Taking time for worship, practicing good communication, and balancing the checkbook are still necessary disciplines that must be nurtured and exercised in order to keep the household running smoothly and efficiently.

They might be doing different “jobs” in Peru–with an overtly spiritual dimension–but living as unto the Lord is the same opportunity no matter the location.

What am I trying to pass off as a problem of my “location” instead of what is broken within myself?

I can change jobs, but if I have a hard time getting along with others, a new job won’t fix that for me.

I might lament the fact that my house is never really clean, but buying a new one won’t make the task of housekeeping anymore fun than cleaning the one I currently have.

Never been able to connect with my neighbors?  It’s very unlikely that moving to a new neighborhood will make block parties more enjoyable.

Maybe criticism and judgmentalism is the struggle.  Perhaps deep friendships forever seem elusive.  Maybe it’s a life fully of busyness without true enjoyment.  Whatever the issues may be, those aren’t things that a new group of friends, different job, new spouse, or an extended vacation is going to remedy.  Oh, it may for a time, but the honeymoon will wear off and sooner or later we’ll be forced to face our demons again.  Some changes only bring about a change of scenery.  Want lasting change toward more peace, more joy, and greater strength?  Then the changes we make must be of the deep, spiritual, personal kind.

Joyce Meyer likes to say, “Wherever you go, there you are.”  Well, that about sums it up.  If I want a life more worth living, I’ve got to change me.  A change of scenery just won’t do.


One Response to “Just a Change of Scenery”
  1. Judy says:

    oh, that is so true!
    Where ever I go, there I am!
    It will have to be a shift in my mindset… I am getting there! Thank you!

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