The Entertainment Camel
“What’s it like to be back?” is probably one of the first questions that we are asked by our friends.
How to answer…
Well, it’s wonderful and weird all at the same time. Wonderful because America is the land of free refills and insane efficiency. (Both things which we miss when we live abroad.) Weird, in that, no one takes time for a leisurely tea break or offers a sauntering camel ride.
Still we adjust.
I do find myself, however, becoming an “entertainment camel.” I see a favorite cereal at the store and I want to buy 5 boxes just because they have it in stock. I notice a flier for a concert and next thing I know I’m looking at every concert in the area for the rest of the year. It’s like mental hoarding.
Most of the areas where we have lived in Africa have limited supplies of grocery items. So if you see it, you buy it because it may not be there the next time. I can’t tell you the frenzy that happened when random cans of Dr. Pepper were spotted in Khartoum one time!
So my daughters gently pat my hand and say, “Marms, they’ll still be here next time you come. No worries.”
I smile, put SOME of them back and take a deep breath.
What am I trying to recapture? A sense of normalcy? The ability to exhale by the number of goods stocked on my shelves? The internal gauge that says my “fine arts” tank is full enough for another run across the pond?
I’m sure my psychology friends will have a field day with this post.
But I’m reminded: “Don’t hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or—worse!—stolen by burglars. Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it’s safe from moth and rust and burglars. It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being,” (MT 6:21 MSG).
Whether in America or Africa or wherever, the place I most want to be is with Jesus.