Well, I’ve been in Honduras for just over a week now. It’s strange; I haven’t been here for long, yet I feel like it’s been ages. It is that strange effect of time dilation, which makes it seem as if the present circumstance has been going forever and will keep going for just as long. In one sense not much has happened during this past week and a bit. I got settled in to my aunt and uncle’s house. It took me a couple of days to recover from the trip down here, and I’ve had a couple days where I was lonely and very much missing the people I’ve left behind, but otherwise, it has been fairly relaxing and uneventful. This has actually been a little hard to deal with, because for some reason I’d expected to hit the ground running and not have much down time. At first I felt like I wasn’t doing anything and wondered a couple of times why I’d come.
But in another sense, a lot has happened. After those first couple of days of being tired from travel and disappointed that I wasn’t immediately going in and starting missions work, I was able to just relax and enjoy having the free time. I realized that I had been hiding from my emotions and problems, that I’d been hoping I could just run away into work and not have to face them. I realized that I’m guilty of the same thing that so many other people are also guilty of: of keeping myself so busy that I didn’t have time to really think or to deal with any of my issues. To an outsider looking in at my life, this would probably not seem to be the case. I worked part-time for the express purpose of having more free time to do things important to me. I spent a fair bit time on artistic pursuits and socializing, while still being able to fit in activities like reading and playing video games on most days. But that was just my problem: all my time was full. I wasn’t filling it with work and social obligations; my life was not “hectic” in the sense that keeps many from introspection and the development of depthful relationships; but in my own way, I was keeping myself too busy to deal with my own problems (though I am glad that at least one of the things keeping me busy was efforts to be there for my friends when they needed me). By keeping myself too busy to think, I was doing more than damaging my mental and emotional health; I think that I also damaged my creativity. Certainly, daydreaming has become harder and harder in the past couple of years, inspiration harder to come by, ideas rarer, stories harder to tell, paintings less thrilling, poetry nearly impossible.
But now I’ve had to slow down a little. At the moment, at least, I have no work and few obligations. Yesterday, I went and spent a few hours helping at the WGO (World Gospel Outreach) mission house up on the mountain, which, other than helping with a couple of things around the house (such as taking care of my little cousins and doing dishes), is the first “work” I’ve done since arriving. Next week we’re going on a vacation to the beach, and though as time goes by I will be doing more things to help (including more regular work at the mission house), it seems that overall there’s going to be more down time than I expected. Now I have time to think. I have things to face and come to terms with. And already, my creativity has started coming back. I finished a new painting yesterday, and have just started developing a brand new story idea that came upon me last night as I paced on the balcony of my aunt and uncle’s house. And so, of course, it seems that God knew what He was doing when He gave me a slow beginning.