This is part of a story that was published a few months ago in a book of Anthologies called, Watershed Moments, compiled by Kathryn M Holmes. It is a book of dramatic stories from people experiencing faith based changes in their life. I was asked if I would be willing to contribute two stories and here is the first one of those stories.
As you read it, I hope it will prompt you to think about your own life and the experiences that have changed your perspective. If you would like to share, I would love to hear, and you can just reply to this email. Enjoy!
Who knew that a chicken, a real live one, would prove to be a pivotal moment in my life? Of course there is more than simply the chicken, so the story goes like this…
The Minneapolis/St. Paul area synod and the Iringa Diocese of Tanzania, along with many other churches, are part of a internship called Bega Kwa Bega. This is Swahili for “Shoulder to Shoulder,” which is the basis for our working together; we work side by side. Our church had a partnership with this program for many years, and felt strongly that to have this kind of relationship it meant we had to visit Tanzania.
I was sitting in a pew listening to three women speak who had recently came back from their first-ever trip to visit this remote village. I knew in an instant that I would be on that next trip. Becasue my husband could see I knew that in every part of my body, he leaned over and said, ” You are going, and there is nothing I can do to stop you, right?” Yes, indeed, I was going even if I could not articulate why.
Here is where it gets interesting. I had never been out of the U.S. I’m not an adventurer. I don’t like to be out of my comfort zone. Now I’m going to a third-world country for three weeks? Oh, did I mention I did not have the money, and my family was not thrilled with this idea?
I sat around a table with eight others, who were also interested in going the next year, in order to hear the details of what this experience would be like. We heard about the roads we would travel on, the remoteness of the village, the bathroom facilities or lack thereof, and what everyday like would be like once we got there. All if a sudden it sank in, and I got really frightened. As I voiced my concern, and admitted that I did not know if I could manage it, a good friend pit his thumbs under his arm pits and started to squawk like a chicken. I was horrified. My friend had confronted me on my fear – and in hindsight I am glad he did.
What would happen if we never get out of our comfort zones? Thank you, dear friend. My hope is we all have people who will do this for us.