If you're looking for pictures of Italy, turn back now. Sorry guys. I should be regaining the ability to transfer pics to my computer later today or tomorrow...
A while back, I made a little list of some lessons I've learned while abroad. The truth is, however, I didn't mention the real lessons that I've learned here:
A lesson in humility.
Humble yourselves before the Lord,
and he will lift you up. -Js 4:10 (NIV)
For every semester of college I had a little handmade placard of James 4:10's if-then guidance on my wall. It was a wonderful daily reminder, and I think it played a part in all the things I was able to accomplish as a student. I never thought, however, that I'd lose sight of this instruction the very first semester I didn't have it in my face every day. Turns out I did. And just as so many other verses tell us [Think the first half of Mt. 23:12], God will be sure to find a way to return us to humility.
This trip, aside from being a wonderful chance to get to know distant family and to learn about the world we live in--its history, its culture, its food--has mostly just been one giant serving of...
I've realized that I got so excited about the trip, that I forgot to keep my eyes on what was important.
I lost sight of the fact that having this semester off was nothing short of a blessing.
I unofficially had the following mantra throughout college, but where'd that mindset go? Who knows.
Who knows, but either way, I lost sight of the fact that I have a giving Father who ought to be receiving praise with my every breath.
I was thrilled to finish college early and be an awesome world-traveler,
only to now be left out of many of the last-semester-of-college festivities.
I was so excited to get to Italy, but I didn't take the time to prepare.
Now I feel lost, confused, frustrated, embarrassed, and stupid on an hourly basis.
My head got big, thinking blessings would just keep flowing toward me,
only to learn that blessing are a gift, not a reward.
(Plus I had stopped doing the things that might make me deserve an award anyway...)
So there's that. And now I'm here and trying to get back on track. I'm starting to see these 40 days abroad as my real Lent, albeit one focused more on turning to God daily rather than a typical one of sole sacrifice. We'll see if I make any progress. I'm thinking I already have, but again, only time will tell.
And I'll try to keep this man's reminder in mind while I make my way back:
How's that sound? You're ready for me to get back to the trip, huh? Patience, friends. That's another lesson I'm learning in this never-in-a-hurry country ;)