Life has settled into a routine – 3 months in and this has become my new normal. It’s funny how things change so quickly in life and we adapt, overcome or maybe just make due. I am accustomed to wearing flip-flops in the shower now, to spending every night in a sleeping bag, to Jerry-rigging everything. I have 550 cord strung all over my sleeping area and everything from my towel to a light hangs from it. My doorway is a tarp. But that’s not really for privacy – there’s no such thing as that – it more to let people know I’m probably asleep and they will have to shout louder if I they need me to wake up for some reason or another. RP and I spent the better half of the past two weeks getting our “new” chapel set up at Camp Hanson. I say “new” because the tent was probably used on the set of MASH. None-the-less it’s a nice tent and houses the chapel sanctuary which will seat about 40, office space, and Berthing for RP and myself.
I still spend most of my days on the road, moving from place to place looking for a conversation, a starting point or anything that I can use to be light and salt to the men I serve. Everything is a tool, every experience a path. All roads if you really think about it, even in the desert, even in war – lead to the cross. We are in the hump of the deployment – the midway point – where the newness has worn off, we are no longer fresh – and yet the end is still not in sight – so begin for about the next month – the grind. We are in our new normal. Sometime around October the feeling that this is what life is will be shrugged off and as the light at the end of the tunnel is in sight. Every one deployed goes through it I’m told – it’s “normal” so they say.
I guess I’m not normal. Sure there is a routine, I’m used to this life now – but I’m not in a slump – I’m energized – I’m at peace – true joy is etched across my face – not because I find myself here. But rather because God has brought me here. The Chaplain Corp, the Marines, the Federal Government may think that the reason I find myself in Afghanistan is because of them but I know better.
I know three things about God: He is Sovereign, He is good, and He loves me.
Therefore where-ever I find myself, whatever my lot in life I know this: God brought me there for good because He loves me.
I’ve been studying Lamentation 3 recently, and it continues to bring me joy because of the great faithfulness of God – even to a people who reject Him.
May God show you the reason for your Afghanistan.