I have six weeks left in Thailand.
There are still days when I don’t feel the motivation to stay here anymore. Those are the days when an additional two hours of teaching get dropped on my schedule unexpectedly. The days when I discover my bag of rolled oats crawling with ants (yes, ants bite through thick plastic bags). The days when I can’t sleep because I’m sweating from merely lying on my back. Add to this the numerous tasks piling up which must be set in order before I leave. And I’m ready to get it all over with and board the plane for home.
But then there are moments when I look around me and see all the beautiful faces I may never, ever see again. The friends who have made Thailand home for me and who have become my community. The students who have given me much grief and such huge, joyful victories. The local street vendors who sell me my weekly groceries and always put a little more than a kilo on the scale for me. Then there’s also the smaller things I have available to me every day such as plump, sweet fruit, and delicious Thai dishes, and colorful open markets, which don’t exist in America. I think of all these things and I don’t feel at all ready to leave.
But I have come to realize that no matter where I am, there’s gonna be good things and there’s gonna be bad things. If I constantly dwell on the things I miss when I don’t have them, I’ll always be homesick and never happy. I’ve learned that the secret to being happy ALL THE TIME is to be content with Jesus. To have the mentality that Christ is sufficient – RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW, as one of my academy teachers has said. This is now one of the principles around which I build my life. As long as I have Jesus, it won’t matter if I’m in Thailand or California or University; I can be content.
So I’m doing my best to relish what I have here, and live my best life right where I’m at now. I’m spending as much time as possible with my closest friends, giving my students my all, looking for the beauty God has placed in my path, and enjoying every last mango and rambutan I can get. It also entails practical to-dos, such as getting things in order for college, buying gifts to bring home, and beginning communication with the next teachers. I don’t want to waste a single moment of my remaining weeks here. And Christ – the one for whom I live my life – is giving me the strength to make it through every last day.
“I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.” (Phil. 4:12b-13).
Christ is sufficient. Right here. Right now.