As promised my thoughts on Jess‘s blog entry:
The culture shock I face is much different from Jess. Sure, I didn’t spend months living in India or Thailand. But trust me living in Yakima, Washington can provide some culture shock, especially if you’re a city girl like myself.
And especially if you hold the views I had for the last few years. For the longest time I called the city my home. I proclaimed to many that the city was home. I loved the noise, the people, the busy activity. When I lived in Chicago, I found the innercity endearing, despite it’s major issues and problems.
But now I am in Yakima, a much smaller, more rural area then I have ever lived in. It’s an area where because of my salary and the relative low-cost of living I could mantain a lifestyle I did not have in college or during my days in Mission Year.
It brings much of the same questions. Am I living the life God wants me to live? That I’m supposed to live? I can’t help but ask this question. I wonder if I need to emulate my experience in Chicago to my life in Yakima. Do I live among the poor again? Should I devote more time to volunteering, serving, etc?
I have no clear cut conclusions, of course. But I have some ideas.
- Andrea, our old city director, always made a point of telling us to incorporate the lifestyle of Mission Year into our post-MY lives, rather than force the lifestyle we live into the Mission Year ‘program.’ I realize that I have done this somewhat successfully, as I have found myself consuming less. Given that good shopping and other things are in Seattle, it”s easy to can the shopping habits. However, even when I do go to big cities I find myself restraining myself pretty well.
- I realize that what it’s all about is your heart. What are my convictions and how am I living them out day to day? A basic one? Love God and love others. My heart strives for this, although I fall short day after day. I realize that as long as I strive for this, I will do better.
- Another aspect of conviction is doing the right thing. I find myself considering the importance of doing my job for others, the readers in our community, rather than myself. I find that I serve others, by writing stories day in and day out.
I think God convicts people differently for his ultimate purpose and plan. Perhaps Jess and Jake are called to live among the poor. Perhaps my calling is to serve the rural community of Yakima through my newspaper writing. Home is not so much a place or destination to strive for, but rather the site of fufilling the ultimate purpose. So if you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing, you’re right at home.