I’m leaving soon for 5 weeks in China and the process of departure has been interesting to say the least. Storms blew through last weekend and knocked out electricity in the area, so all of our last minute preparations were done with a high level of inconvenience. It is the second time in a year we have lost power for 5 days, the last time being after Hurricane Irene hit.
One would think that as I am preparing to be highly inconvenienced in China that the experience stateside might be welcomed as extra preparation. But that is hardly the case. What I’m prepared to welcome in Kashgar I am NOT prepared to welcome here.
- Uncomfortable heat with no fan or a/c.
- Lack of Internet access.
- Very limited cell phone use.
- Inability to store food I want where I live.
- Grumpy children.
Last fall when this happened, if felt like an adventure, as if it were my chance to be supermom. The board games by candlelight came with ease, the creative meals made of non-perishables flew out of my imagination! But this time around just had an edge. It was much hotter, I had more pressing need to get things done that required internet and phone, and the kids did not have the thrill of missing school like they did last time. This time, it was just a big old bummer. And it was all about the attitude. I see it in the contrast between the last outage and this one. And I see it in my ability to welcome all these inconveniences for the sake of experiencing another part of the world and my inability to welcome it here. It’s all about posture one takes towards the situations.
Part of our preparation for being in Kashgar includes learning a good entry posture for new situations. In other words, coming in to a new situation with curiosity, adaptability and openness rather than skepticism or superiority. My experience in the last week throws in my face how immensely helpful it is to have one’s entry posture in mind in ALL situations, not just the big cross-cultural ones. If I could stay on top of my attitude posture (see link) during experiences like this power outage, I’d be a much more peaceful person. Not only that, I believe that our willingness to have a good entry posture reflects something of God’s posture towards us. And I sure do benefit from that.
What’s your experience of choosing a good entry posture? Or of failing to do so?