It was a completely out-of-the body experience for me. The entire weekend was a bit surreal. I spent my entire Easter weekend like this. From Friday to Sunday I woke up in this village to go to up to four church services a day. Each service was about two hours long, and was all in a language that I really couldn't understand much of. The day would start at four in the morning and end at midnight. There was so much singing, so many new things to get used to. I was so tired. Yet I felt so filled with beautiful and unbelievable experiences.
So often it's hard to believe that I'm experiencing these things. It seems so strange to be halfway across the world from where I was born and raised while currently being surrounded and immersed in a completely different lifestyle and culture. It's so exciting. Sometimes it's very stretching to be around so many things that are unfamiliar. It's definitely not always easy, and can be so tiring. It seems like it would be a very lonely lifestyle to live. Yet it is so beautiful to be here in this foreign place, and most of the time I end my days feeling so content. This is my home right now. I feel like I am part of this family, not that I am a strange guest who sticks out like a sore thumb. I feel so lucky to have these experiences nearly on the daily. Many people only imagine their lives looking like this crazy adventure. They never think that it is an attainable thing, but that is just an unrealistic imagination.
The thing is, it's so easy to attain this lifestyle with such unbelievable experiences. The lessons, values, and other things that I've learned while being in South Africa can be easily applied wherever you live. You don't have to be called to a completely different country or culture. You don't even have to move to a different neighborhood. This lifestyle of unbelievable experiences can be lived out in the exact spot that you're standing or sitting right now. This doesn't mean it's going to be easy.
Sometimes it's so hard to reach out to other people. For some reason it can be really intimidating to go deep with someone. But once you dive in, it's so worth it. And you find that it's much easier than you thought it would be. Very often the things that I find the most memorable are the ones that are found in the least expected way. Most of the time it's the everyday things that I stash away in my brain. The times which are most memorable or valuable to me are when I'm sitting under a tree talking to someone. When I'm making my dinner. When I'm doing nothing in particular. When I'm just sitting with people or doing something ordinary.
Wherever you go in the world, you meet ordinary, everyday people. In fact, every person you meet is ordinary. Each person has his own story to tell. It is the choices that the person makes which makes him seem extraordinary. It is not the actual person. You don't have to travel or to really even search to find special people to be around. Every single person that you encounter is normal, yet their story is what makes them special. And the details that you pick out of a situation or a person adds to that value, to that memory. So stop searching to find people who will make your life experiences more unbelievable. Stop finding things to make your adrenaline run high. Just start talking to those around you. Learn their stories, their cultures. Let their lives impact the way you live yours. Let the things you do in your own life affect you. Let the normal things impact you greatly.