Yesterday at church, Pastor Chris taught more on The Simple Life. He gave us an opportunity to speak up on how God has been revealing to us about the Simple Life. I shared that my perspective of the Simple Life was turned upside down after going to Puerto Escondido.
In some ways, life seems to be much more simple in Mexico. One specific way is the concept of time. They joke about “Mexican time,” indicating a resistance to being driven by schedule. But more importantly, it is the way your days are lived out there. We made our plans for the week, but God certainly directed our steps. As Mando and Myra led us through the week, we got to observe how sweet it was when they would run into people they knew on the streets, at the beach, in the market place. Mando actually warned us by telling us, if they see someone who wants to talk, they were going to stop. After all, that’s why they are there. Each time they would encounter someone, they would stop and give that person all the time they wanted. Without making the other person feel rushed, like they had to be somewhere, or had a schedule to keep. They would listen, minister and extend an invitation to them.
They are focused, but yielded. Focused on God’s priorities for their lives… loving Him, loving others and those who do not yet know Him. They make their plans, but God directs their steps. They leave room for the Holy Spirit to change their plans.
We did the same (somewhat) while we were in Puerto. In retrospect, I realize since we were on a “missions trip,” I was prepared to be more flexible for what may come. I was more vigilant about praying about the day and what God had in store for us. I was more eager to inquire of the Lord what we should do…even about the minor things like what to cook for dinner, what color to paint the rooms, which direction the flowers should be placed on the walls. Again, in hindsight, there were moments where we could have gotten caught up in minor things. But because those minor moments were submitted to Christ, there was nothing but peace and laughter abounding…leaving room to savor the major things. Like when a 3 year old girl who’s mother recently left her and her sister at Casa Hogar runs in the room you are painting and wants to be held. Or when a 15 year old girl who has never known a mother and father in the traditional sense, wants to make you laugh even though you don’t speak the same language. Or when a 13 year old boy who recently returned to the orphanage after running away to the grandmother who rejected him wants to play tag. Or when 20 people you didn’t plan on join the team for dinner and the Lord provides a great meal and an awesome night of fellowship. And when your son needs to hear God’s promise to give us courage in times of fear and discomfort. And you get to see (and hear) an elder in your church lost in worship at the top of his lungs with an iPod plugged in his ears.
Why don’t I do that in my every day life? Why shouldn’t every day’s “schedule” be given to the Lord for editing, changing or deleting? Why shouldn’t I inquire for all the details in an effort to stay closely aligned with His will?
Martha invited Jesus in, but Mary yielded to His presence in the house. Martha had purposed to host Jesus and his friends with a lavish feast and the treatment the Savior of the world deserves. But Jesus just wanted her to sit down and listen to Him, to savor His presence and be blessed by His words and His love for their family. We make our plans, but God directs our steps. The simple life is living with clear purpose, while being yielded to God’s plans for each moment.
I must confess the last few days of our trip were filled with more leisure than work due to Holy Week. I found myself from time to time experiencing pangs of lonliness for the rest of our family. In those moments, I wished the trip was shorter so we could be home to celebrate Easter together. Thinking our portion of the work was finished, in my mind there was nothing left to do. What I almost missed out on was the sitting… the listening… the waiting… the being instead of the doing. That’s why they are there. That’s why we were there.
The Velasquez family in Puerto Escondido have a full and purposeful life. They spend their days homeschooling and discipling their children. They do Bible studies and fellowships with those who want to grow in their faith and those who are still looking for theirs. They serve and host teams that are there for a short time to partner. They serve in the local church. They serve at Casa Hogar at least twice a week. They are Big Brother and Big Sister to Alejandro and Sol. They manage a rental property for some out of town friends. Life is busy. But all the while, they leave room for God to move, for His Spirit to direct their steps.
If you are reading this, take a minute and pray for the Velasquez family. For Mando, Myra, Eden, Sarah, Roman and Samuel. Pray that God would continue to direct their steps, that He would continue to work in them and through them. Then take a minute and pray for yourself… that you would yield yourself to His plans, His steps, His provision, His presnence, His word and what He has done for you. And give Him thanks.
Grace and peace to you,
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. “