So often I go through life anticipating my next move- nervous and anxious about whether I’m headed in the right direction, instead of taking time for deep breaths and close examinations of my soul.
One of the greatest things I learned from the Mapuche community is that they are slow to speak. Literally, to the point of frustration. It’s pretty normal to ask a question and allow 3-5 minutes of pure awkward silence before getting a response.
But in my frustration, I got to thinking… why do I speak so quickly?
“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;” (James 1:19)
The Mapuches just don’t rush through life. They take time to enjoy every breath. My team was placed in a Mapuche community called Aucapan, located in Northern Patagonia bordering the Andes Mountains. The views were INCREDIBLE. I’ve never experienced terrain as beautiful as this. Everyday I woke up to blue skies and mountains as far as you could see. We would walk and walk for hours in our attempt to reach homes where we could meet Mapuche families and share the Gospel with them. With each step I took, I felt like I was being led into new, exciting, and even more beautiful territory. On each side of our trail were flowers of too many varieties to count and of course, random sheep who had wandered away from their owners. But the most beautiful thing was when we stopped talking.
Silence. No car horns. No crying babies.
Needless to say, on our hour journeys, I had plenty of time to clear my head of all the bustle of the city life. Living in Buenos Aires is such an awesome experience, don’t get me wrong, but with all my time spent there I began to realize I hadn’t even taken the time to digest all that the Lord was teaching me or maybe, trying to teach me.
Living amongst the Mapuches for 15 days taught me to breath again. It taught me to stop trying to find the quick fix and just start enjoying the process. I mean this in relation to lots of things… when something breaks in my apartment and I get frustrated, when I’m in a fight with a friend, when I don’t understand X cultural difference, and especially when I find myself broken and confused in my relationship with the Lord. Life isn’t some question that’s meant to be “solved”. It’s meant to be lived.
So.. my goal for 2011… stop fixing and start living.