Then there's that whole part of me that has started to wonder over the years - where is everyone going and why am I still here?
In my mind, they move on and up to greater adventures and blessings and I stay the same. The enemy whispers to me, "You are stuck. Evidently God has a bigger plan for them. You're not really doing anything - if you were, you'd be traveling the world and moving up in life and making a difference in the lives of others and....."well, the list could go on and on if I allowed it.
But if I am honest, I will admit that I whined again..."God, how come we're still just here? How come you don't move us on to bigger and better things?" That was a part of my prayer yesterday as I headed off to work, and I got a rather unexpected answer to my prayer.
No, I did not hear some booming voice or have some miraculous event take place. Instead, a thought simply entered my mind. "No - you haven't seen the world, but you have touched it in some small way. You've been to Costa Rica and Kenya through gifts and prayers for those who have served there. You have never seen the beauty of China or Russia or Bolivia or Peru, but you have known the beauty of their people through the students you have had the privilege to teach. You have never moved to Texas or North Carolina or Tennessee or Florida or Wisconsin or Minnesota or Oklahoma or so many other places, but you know and love many who have and despite the distance that physically lies between us now, they still reside so close to your heart...a piece of you is in each state...all over the world in fact."
As I thought of the overwhelming goodness of God, tears started to flow. No...I'm not stuck. I'm planted. God has allowed me to be just a teeny tiny little part of the lives of so many who have traveled this way on the road to their destination and they are a part of me. I get to put down roots and hopefully become a shady spot where they can rest on their journey. Being planted isn't such a bad thing...if it's what God has planned for me.
One friend commented on my face book post, "some people are the 'dandelion seeds' in life and others are the 'soil' in which the dandelion must grow" and another posted, "Lots of people envy those folks that have deep roots! God planted you in this place to bloom and prosper for His glory."
Yep...30 years of saying goodbye...or at least "see you later", and while it looks like I have just stayed the same, I know I haven't. I've grown....at least I hope I have. I've put down roots close to the river that God chose for me...and I get to "see" the world through the eyes of those whom God has allowed me to meet, right where I am. (Plus, I don't have to move all my junk!)
I'm not stuck...I'm planted right where I need to be. Who am I to complain?
Jeremiah 17: 7-8 (Message)
"But blessed is the man who trusts me, God,
the woman who sticks with God.
They're like trees replanted in Eden,
putting down roots near the rivers—
Never a worry through the hottest of summers,
never dropping a leaf,
Serene and calm through droughts,
bearing fresh fruit every season.
New International Version (NIV)
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.