Last week, I got hit with a “mystery bug” that took me out. 12 days later, I am still feeling the effects of this “tropical fever”.
I spent a lot of time sleeping, binge watching Lost (1st time for me), spending time with the Lord and in His Word, and surfing Facebook.
I also spent time thinking.
Self-imposed partial quarantine will leave you lots of time thinking… maybe too much time.
And thinking can lead to googling.
Mystery illness and google…. BAD IDEA!! If Dr. Google were correct, I’d be dead. Thank my sweet baby Jesus Dr. Google was waayyyy off.
All that thinking and googling and praying brought me to an interesting thought process (which was probably aided by all that binge watching of Lost).
All my life, I dreamt of living by the ocean. It was always either Rehoboth Beach, DE, or some tropical island with crystal waters, palm trees, and beautiful sandy beaches. I longed for that life, even while I was content with my life in York PA.
People all over the world long to live the island life. Surf, sun, sand… that’s what the desire. They wait all year-long to take their 2 weeks vacation, save up all their extra money, and take a plane to an island and then live off the memories of that time for the rest of the year until they can do it again.
Places like Puerto Rico and Hawaii and the Bahamas are glamorized and idolized and obsessed over.
But few ever move to those places and experience true island life.
And those that do… find it to be something most never expect.
I can’t speak for other islands, but Puerto Rico, while dreamy and beautiful and perfectly tropical is not an easy place to live.
I could make you a list that would sound whiney and complaining to you… I can almost hear the snark “how can you complain when you live where I vacation”.
And I get it. I do.
But imagine for a moment, a different side of that tropical paradise… a side where you can’t effectively communicate with more than half of the people you live with. A side where food and clothing and basic necessities cost far more than they should, while minimum wage pays way lower than it should (if you can even find a job). A side where your very purpose on the island brings you in contact with the dark and cruel parts of humanity on a daily basis. A side where you are away from family and friends… where things you hold dear are impossible to reach. A side where nothing is ever as easy as it should be.
For some, its longing to be living that island life.
For others, longing to leave it behind.
I could have ended this post here.. and really, I almost did.
But, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that I love it here. Yes, I long to go home and be with my loved ones. To have real, dependable income, Turkey Hill tea, and affordable groceries (don’t laugh, this is legit!), and a million other things. God called us here. He equipped us to serve here, and He continues to provide grace and mercy over our lives here.
It’s not easy. Its not always pretty. It can be frustrating and sobering, and maddening… but it is beautiful.
Life is beautiful. Here, or there, or wherever you are planted. Its your choice. (My choice too). You can shrivel up and die in rich lush soil, or you can blossom and grow in a crevice on a rock. Its your choice, your perspective.
So… my point?
Bloom where you are planted.