Thursday, October 9, 2008

Sleeping but restless

Wow, here we are. Hong Kong International Airport. We’re hanging out and I’m waking up for the 9th time in 30 hours. I still haven’t slept much but I’ve been sleeping frequently. Hopefully this whack sleep schedule will turn out to be a good thing by the time we wake up in Delhi tomorrow late morning.

From Hong Kong Airport

I’ve had some interesting feelings and thoughts thus far. One thing I’ve been noticing is that I’m not all that excited to be uncomfortable. I remember my uncle Will questioning why we would want to go to India. Suddenly that is becoming more real… his concern of discomfort. I’m reminded of this issue of wealth and how Jesus talks about it. Brian McLaren follows up on that topic in his recent book Everything Must Change. His idea is that as folks accumulate wealth there becomes a need to protect that wealth. And it’s not just wealth but the lifestyle that we live. The hot shower every morning, the ability to purchase anything we want at any time from anywhere in the world and even the comfortable, warm bed we sleep in every night. Starting this journey off on our friend Renee’s floor seemed fitting. And the anxiety started to build – I’m going to be uncomfortable! I’m becoming OK with that but am surprised how strongly I don’t want to be uncomfortable.

And then I was talking to the guy beside me on the plane. We talked about the recent debate and his analysis of what is happening in America rung true to me. He talked about the various ways people are manipulated, particularly religious groups and politicians. He talked about really wanting Obama as president and being scared that it would not be so because of hidden racism. I admit I am fearful that something like what happened four years ago will come again. I remember hearing that the George W. Bush administration was going to serve another 4 years and feeling crushed. Crushed because of what our global neighbors would think. At that time, I didn’t see that administrations failing economic policy that has no doubt not helped our current crisis. Generally upset with legislation like No Child Left Behind and a war that seemed primarily about economic stimulus and oil, I just can’t bear to have more of the same. What impact will it have on our brothers and sisters around the world?

What struck me about my conversation with this guy on the plane was his analysis and wisdom. I found myself wondering what he was doing with his knowledge and wisdom. He reminded me of Solomon – in fact, my plane buddy said, in different words, there is nothing new under the sun. Clearly God’s spirit was alive in this man, but it wasn’t clear to me that he was moving along with the spirit.

Lord, help us move with your spirit. Forgive our doubts.

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