I just got done watching a friends video from a recent missions trip. The video had so much enthusiasm. Enthusiasm for learning, for dancing, playing games, building relationships, worshipping Jesus. It was so refreshing.
It did make me stop and wonder why it takes going half way around the world before one will show enthusiasm for life, especially a Believer. Why do I get looked at weird when I start clapping in church? Why is it that if those same people were in Africa with me it'd be acceptable and appreciated?
Or is it just that the masks are gone when you're half a world away? Maybe people feel more free to be?
It happens with children too. Parents, aunts, uncles, siblings...all can act goofy and excited if it brings a smile to a child's face or helps a tear from falling.
This frustrates me. It frustrates me that we can't be consistent. That we feel there is a need for masks and the like. I know...I know...there are situations that call for "proper" behavior, and I'm working on being proper in those situations.
But really I don't want to be one person in front of this certain group of people and another person in front this other group. I hope that when people look at me they can see consistency. I hope they realize they will hear what I truly think about the situation (hopefully delivered with a smidgen of tact), that they know I mean it when I say "If you need anything, please call." I hope my enthusiasm for life flows into the routine events of my day. Maybe they'll see that I don't know all the answers, that I do want to hear their thoughts and I, too, am trying to figure this out.
Ultimately, who I am and what defines me isn't found in what people think about me. It doesn't matter if they think I'm the center of attention or not. It all boils down to a matter of trusting God with my reputation. Or rather...simply trusting God.
Now THAT'S exciting....