Molding a lump of clay

Molding a lump of clay
I am a work in progress, molded by my Maker, refined by His fire, shaped with His love. Walk the journey with me.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

When satan pushes the buttons

It's another one of those annoying days when I hear a great sermon, get all pumped up about how great God is and how awesome it is to be walking with Him, and then something happens that either bums me out, or ticks me off, or both.

So Pastor Silvanus was on Part 4 of 'The walk of a believer on the journey of salvation' (I know, quite a mouthful of a sermon series title but the content has been fabulous), and he was talking about our walk with God. He made several good points, one out of Deut 20:1-4 which talks about going to war. And it says,

"Hear, O Israel, today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not be terrified or give way to panic before them. For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory."

And I was thinking, 'Who are my enemies? What things make me fainthearted or afraid?'

My enemies are not people,
but attitudes and cultural stresses that seek to drag me down.

Case in point: right after church we went to the market to get some potatoes

and small fish.

I thought John would just run in and get it, so I opted to wait in the car. I should have known that I'd be a sitting target, but I didn't think he'd be gone long and figured I could handle whatever came my way.

So I'm sitting there and various people are walkin
g up to the window saying, "Mundu (foreigner), how are you?"

"Fine," I say. They watch me for a little bit and then wander off.

Then a cobbler guy sitting on the ground a few metres away from the car mending shoes with his friends says, "Mundu, mi ngoni?" (how are you in Lugbara)

"Muke," I answer back...fine.

Then he switches to English, "Are you fine?"

"Yes, I'm fine," I say.

"Then why are you quiet?" he asks.

I look at him and raise my hands with a shrug to indicate that I'm alone in the car, and say, "There's no one to talk to."

Then a gadi gadi guy (someone who carries goods and things for people in his wheelbarrow) comes down a side lane that we happen to be parked in front of and stops at the car. Apparently we are blocking the way, although there is no break in the curb that lines the street to indicate a road, nor are there any signs to say, 'Don't park here.'

The gadi gadi comes up to me and says, "Mundu, why are you sitting here?"

"I am waiting for my husband," I say.

"Where is the pilot (meaning driver)?" Gadi gadi asks me. "You are blocking the way." Then with a huff he manoevers his wheelbarrow around our truck and continues on his way.

Not long after, though, another 3 gadi gadis come along and start kicking up a fuss. The one in the front is wearing a muslim cap and shouting at me in Lugbara. He keeps pointing to a stone that sits in the gutter next to the curb, as if to inform me that the stone marks the lane and means 'no parking.' By this point I'm really not in the mood for this, so I just sit there and look at him while he gestures and agitates himself. A small crowd has formed, of course, and people are laughing, enjoying the entertainment as this guy hurls who knows what kind of abuses at me. He was obviously not going to make his way around the truck, but preferred to make a scene until we moved the truck.

I'm getting seriously annoyed at John by now for taking so long, and feeling extremely embarrassed. I'm also ticked off at this gadi gadi for making such a scene, and wishing I had some choice words to burst his bubble (really missionary-like of me, eh?). But I know he just wants a reaction so I continue to ignore him, and thankfully John arrives who unfortunately has to bear the brunt of my frustration..."What took you so long?" etc etc.

But one thing I've learned from being here... people talk loud and make a big scene, but it's mostly for show. And as the gadi gadi guy is haranging John for parking in the wrong place, and John starts to pull out, I raise my hand and, smiling, salute the guy. He laughs with me, and John drive off.

At least it all ended well, but in those 30 minutes outside the market, the enemy (satan) worked hard on me...stirring up my anger, highlighting the cultural challenges that irritate me, trying to fire up my wrath against these people.

But God said he is the one who fights for me and gives me the victory.

So I say, "Father God, I know You called me here, and I know You love these people. So show Your power and fight my enemy who wants to turn me against the people You have sent me to. Win the victory so that I can minister Your love to these, Your children. Protect my heart and mind, and keep them ever soft and in-tune with Yours. In Jesus name, Amen."


Esthermay said...

Wow. What an experience! While vastly different from our trips into town where the things that tick us off would be literally foreign to Africa...we face the same choice: Walk in the Spirit. Or not.
Great post. . . and authentic photos! I always enjoy visiting.

Heathcote Safari said...

Oh, thank goodness I'm not the only one to get irritated by cultural stressors and then feels bad because my reaction falls so far short of 'the highest'. Thank goodness I'm not the only to blame my nearest and dearest for my ill-feeling! But we 'keep on keeping on', eh?! Standing with ya!!

Laurie Ann said...

Great post. I admire your honesty and would say we struggle in many of the same ways, though our cultures are different right now! Love the photos you shared. Running to the market is something I'll never take for granted again.