Today I'm sitting on the train on my way to the other side of Tokyo. (I'm on my cell phone right now. I'll paste this to my blog later.) It's still about another 30mins before I arrive at my destination and I find myself with plenty of time to reflect.
Today is cleaning day. No, not my house, though it really needs it. Next week 4 new volunteer missionaries will arrive in Japan. Just like I did years ago, they will spend 6 months in Tokyo learning Japanese and other important things before beginning 2 years of teaching English and ministry. So today we are preparing for their arrival in an annual tradition of house cleaning.
It's a strange mix of feelings I find myself with. This isn't the first time I've helped clean this very house for girls who might possibly replace me. The last time was two years ago when my original term of service was about to end. There were 4 new people coming that year as well. At that time I wanted to extend, but we weren't sure there would be enough room for me still. So at that time I felt maybe a sense of slight resentment for these unknown girls who had the power to take away my job,my students. But God provided as always and that year a new position was created and I've been blessed to extend not only one but two years past my original contract.
Now I'm satisfied with my time in VYM and I'm ready to move to the next stage of my life. So I find myself on a train on my way to clean a house with the very girls whom I cleaned it for two extensions ago. Now they are also the ones preparing for the possibilities of replacement or extension. My resentment for these girls has been transformed into community and love. It's amazing how God gently shows us the better way sometimes.
So now, this time, I'm merely experiencing bitter sweet acceptance instead of sullen rebellion. It's good to know how far I've come. Today I'm looking forward to a day of laughter and fellowship (even if we are cleaning). Maybe in another two years I'll be anticipating an event such as this with true joy, the evidence of my relationship with my Father. I'm so thankful for all the ways I've changed and grown these past two years.
Now if I could only learn to clean my own house...