Saturday, June 11, 2011

Traveling out of your Comfort Zone

One of the things that is MOST appealing to me about travel, is the fact that when you go somewhere other than home. . .then you experience new and different things.  That is sort of the point of traveling.  In fact, if you want things to ALWAYS be the same way. . .then one would just stay home.

Back in March, I entered an article here in my blog about the flooding.  In fact, the title was "Water, Water, Everywhere. . . " .  It explained why we have the flooding that we have here in Guyana.

Right now, in our house, we are suffering from the OPPOSITE of that.  We are experiencing a LACK of water.  In order to explain why, I have to tell you how a house gets "running water" here in Guyana in the first place.  It truly is amazing.

The Guyana Water Authority is the local water company.  It is owned and operated by the Government of Guyana, and supplies water to the Greater Georgetown area.  The problem is, they don't have any really water tanks, like we see in the USA that supply the necessary pressure needed to supply water to homes and businesses in our communities.

That fact, coupled with the fact that water pipes are often broken here so people can get water, and you end up with two things. . . 1.) No real water pressure, and 2.) water that is contaminated and therefore not drinkable.  No home, apartment, or hotel that we have lived or stayed in here in Guyana has water that you could or would drink out of the tap.  In many cases, the water is a nice brown color, and you use it only for washing and bathing.

The bottled water industry in Guyana is BIG and necessary.  Without it, Typhoid and other water borne illnesses would be common place.

Now because of the low water pressure, the water company turns off the water in various areas for large portions of the day.  Here at our house, we have water pressure from the "City tap" about 4 to 6 hours a day.  During that time, we fill two large 800 Gallon tanks that are on the ground.  That water is then pumped to tanks on the second level, and on the roof level, where we can have pressure from there.  We also have our gutter system on the house set up so it drains into the tanks, and fills them with rain water when we don't have water coming from the city water supply.

We also have a small pressure tank, that gives us good pressure throughout the house, even on the second floor.  But it all works only if we have water in the tanks, and if our pump is working properly.

Once the water reached the pump system, it is pumped through a filtration system, that makes it as pure as the water you have in your house.  So for the first time ever, here in Guyana, we can drink the water from the tap.  I have to tell you, that amazes me more than anything else here.  Actually being able to drink the tap water!  (Isn't it amazing what you get excited about when you are out of your comfort zone?  HA)

Yesterday afternoon, our pump went out.  And it took a good 24 hours to get that replaced, and installed.  Then, tonight, we had a pipe break leaving the pump, and all the water drained out of the overhead tanks.  So we are back to no water on the second floor, where all our bedrooms are and most of our bathrooms are, and VERY little water pressure downstairs.

Oh the fun of travel!

But the truth is, that is almost ALWAYS the way things are when we travel out of our comfort zone.  If it isn't the water, then the flight is delayed, or the bags don't arrive, or the Air Conditioning isn't working, or the electricity goes off, or on and on and on.  When we are outside of the warm and comfortable comfort zone we have created for ourselves, then anything can happen.  And it usually does.

Now when those things happen that our out of our control, we have several choices.
1.  We can complain, and tell everyone around us about how uncomfortable we are, and how much we hate our present condition.
2.  We can quickly make plans to leave, and run back to our comfort zone.
3.  We can make the most of the situation, and strive to enjoy the "adventure" that is playing out before us.

Now I would love to tell you that I always pick Number 3, but like many of us, there are times when I complain, and there are times when I just quit and go home.  However, the rich memories that I have, and some of the best stories that I have to tell, are when things didn't go well, and I just stayed and lived through the situation.

Jesus did that you know.  He left His comfort zone. . . the very throne room of God. . . and came down here to earth to live as we do.   He experienced the same disappointments, the same set backs, the same problems that we do every day.  And He could have complained. . . or gone home. . . but He didn't.  He stuck around, toughed it out, and did the job He came to do.  And we are still talking about it today, some 2,000 years later.

Philippians 2 says it best. . .

5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
 6 Who, being in very nature[a] God,
   did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
   by taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
   being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
   he humbled himself
   by becoming obedient to death—
      even death on a cross!
 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
   and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
   in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
   to the glory of God the Father.

Do you get that?  Jesus, who was GOD. . . humbled himself and became a servant!  A servant that was obedient even to the point of a horrible, painful death on the cross.  He did this because He had left His comfort zone, and came here to do a job.  And not just a normal job. . . but a job motivated out of love. . . for us.

And even when the job became difficult, and unpleasant. . . He still did it.

And God exalted Him!

I believe this passage teaches that when we tough things out, and do what God has called us to do. . . even when it is outside of our comfort zone. . .that He will exalt us too!  Why do I say that?  Because of the challenge at the start of the passage.  Our mindset is to be the same as the mindset of Jesus!

So. . . when God calls you out of your comfort zone, remember that you are in good company.  Jesus walked that road before us!  He toughed it out, and finished the journey.  And God exalted Him for it.

He exalts us too when we overcome the obstacles on the road!  Those roadblock and broken water pipes that Satan throws in our way. . . He exalts us above them.

Make your mindset the same as that of Jesus!  Overcome the attacks on your comfort zone!  And God will exalt you too!

See you on the Road!

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