Since we have been home in NZ I personally have enjoyed many moments. One of those has been the ability to walk around bare foot. This is a joy shared by many kiwis. And before you judge us, it doesn’t mean we are uncivilized or barbaric. A lot of it has to do with… THE FACT THAT WE CAN. Unlike in the USA and many other countries, NZ has nothing in the bush, woods, forest (you name it) that can get you. Not even fire ants, tics. Not to mention no snakes, etc.
And because of this many of us often will forego wearing shoes. We do still wear them and as i said, anyone who is judging us for that, you missed the point and i feel sorry for you.
That said in the past month i be given a full opportunity to do this and have embraced it fully. In part because my job allows me to and its impractical at times for me to wear shoes. As i made my quick trip back to the USA this past week i found myself needing to go outside at my In-laws to grab something from my truck. BTW… thanks for the REALLY cold weather brrrrrr. I ventured out, yup you guessed it barefoot. I have always been a fan of barefoot and had done it several times when we were staying with those same In-laws before Christmas. Those times though, it hurt, my feet were tender, and soft and felt every prickle, twig, sharp edge on the earth there was.
This week though i didn’t feel a thing. My feet have hardened up.
Now i will say that i don’t have the most sexiest feet in the world. Between twisted toes from being broken in years of rugby to most of my toe nails in various states of regrowth and falling off from years of abuse in Adventure Racing and therefore may be able to handle a little more “stress” of God’s green earth than most.
I did realize this from my experience this past few days. It is different this time around. My feet in 1 month have hardened up to the rigors of our new life. They are still the same hunks of flesh and bone at the end of my legs but i do not feel every prick and prickle i did 5 weeks ago.
Which got me to thinking about the 2nd time around and what everything looks like for Robin & I now. We are still the same people but this time around, or the 2nd time around its different. Not just in the obvious… Geography, but many other expressions of our life.
I’m not working a job with insane hours now. For example. I could tell you what i was doing 3 months from now on a wednesday at 3pm for those next 60minutes. That is not the case now. I have a calendar on my phone… Hardly ever use it. This doesn’t mean we have become reckless either. Or moved to NZ to live in a van down by the river. But this time around, the 2nd time around it has to and is different.
And what was a priority then isn’t now. Sure i miss it, and we are quite certain will go back to it one day, as there is clarity in knowing that camp and conference ministry is certainly for me, along with ordained ministry for Robin. However the second time around it will look different. It has to.
Thats not to say that it has been plain sailing, IT’S NOT!!! It may look and sound like i have a killer job, but it still has it tough moments. And if i don’t work i don’t get paid. Yeah Really. In case you were wondering. However Robin and I are ok with that for now. Will we do this forever, NO! Furthermore, Do we have all those second time around moments figured out, they come up daily, and sometimes we miss the moment and have to go back and re-examine, and ask ourselves “what can look different about this, in this second time around?” or “why do we want it to look different, this second time around?”
And please don’t hear me wrong, its not like our life for the past 11 years was horrible, it wasn’t, it was very fulfilling. Some of the circumstances to bring us to NZ we had a hand in, and other circumstances before that we didn’t.
We recently stumbled across this prayer and now find myself saying it at the start of most days. check it out.
Prayer for the Start of Day
This is another day, O Lord. I know not what it will bring forth, but make me ready, Lord, for whatever it may be. If I am to stand up, help me to stand bravely. If I am to sit still, help me to sit quietly. If I am to lie low, help me to do it patiently. And if I am to do nothing, let me do it gallantly. Make these words more than words, and give me the Spirit of Jesus. Amen.
Source: Book of Common Prayer 1979
So, when you get a “Second time around” opportunity, what will look different for you? Does this topic sound familiar … Like Grace… A second time around
The second time around.