Just be

Cape Town, South Africa 8:06am

RoJo on the Streets of Cape Town

Jet lag. I am awake early in the morning and starving for dinner food. Yogurt will have to do. I'm sitting outside, 6 floors above the streets of Cape Town. Rowan is looking though a book of Cape Town attraction, Elizabeth is sleeping, and I ponder the things of culture, God and people, and what I get to eat for dinner. Then Rowan tells me I need to write a blog post.

Yesterday, as Rowan and I sat and ate a "Hamburger" (it was meatloaf) on the sidewalk outside of a restaurant I loved observing the people walking by. They loved observing us and sometimes would stop and stare openly. No matter how hard I try, that "American essence" never leaves. I've been told it's how I walk, my smile...all things I cannot really change even though I have attempted many times.

The locals mingled on the streets of the open air market. They sat, they chatted, they gathered around a rugby game playing on a tv inside the restaurant. Kids gathered in the street and started singing and dancing in a way you would guess you would see in Africa. It was loud...but quiet. Different. Why? Then I realized it. When the people here don't have anything to do, they don't do anything. No, seriously. They don't have internet on their cell phones, most of them don't have laptops, and internet is expensive. You never have full access to it (they charge you per megabite). They are not constantly checking their phones, or making calls or sending emails or updating their twitter or facebook. They just are.

Now, I am not sure that this life style would work so well for us in America. However, I don't always need to be pretending that what I "have" to do is so important. I do not want to be defined by my work or my phone or my tweet updates. Most of the time what I "have to do" is not that important anyway. There was a time, not so long ago that I did not have email on my phone, once upon a time I did not even HAVE a phone.

Now, my challenge when overseas is not to think their way is the best way, that America and Americans need to "learn their lesson!" Eat rice for a month! No, we are blessed to live in what I think to be the best country in the world. You know what? We do have everything. We are rich. We need to be thankful! We need to be gracious. We are not so important that our "things" cannot wait an hour, a day, a week for that matter.

I am kind of going though a test of this very thing right now. I don't have a phone. I will not have one for another 7 weeks. No texting, no calls, no looking though facebook when conversations lags or when I am on the bus or in the car. It is good for me. It is good for me to remember that I am not defined by these things.

Miss you all,



Sarah Bradshaw said...

Love you, Joc. Love your heart for God. I'm looking forward to my little bit of "just being" in just a few of days.

TiemannFamily said...

Loved this post, the Lord has really been working on me in this area! Reminding me of the things that REALLY are important and the things that are not! Miss you guys!


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