Thursday, August 13, 2015

Return to Sender

Only in Texas
We are back in Chiang Mai and Elvis is in my head. Before you panic and think that culture shock has finally sent me over the edge there is a very good reason why Elvis has taken up residence. We have one English radio station and their idea of what Westerners listen to is a little off. Happy Radio (now when you say this you have to draw out the endings in your best foreign accent “Happyyyy Radioooo”) plays English songs for a good portion of the day but rarely are the songs from this century. Thais must think that Bob Denver, Karen Carpenter and Elvis are currently in the top 40. I will say the Elvis theme is a bit unusual. We haven’t quite figured this out. Now I enjoy Elvis, however, this is ALL they play. I never knew, nor did I want to know how many songs Elvis recorded. 

A couple of days ago I woke in the night with “Return to Sender” playing in my head. As I laid there hoping, praying the concert would end and I could go back to sleep I began thinking how strange it was. Strange, not that our radio station is from a time long forgotten, but strange that it all felt so normal. Just one short year ago I was experiencing life here for the first time and let me tell you NOTHING WAS NORMAL. I can remember walking in the grocery store staring at the isles (yes, I mean multiple) of rice and fish sauce wondering how in the world I was going to feed three teenage boys. We ate out at any and every western restaurant we could find for weeks. This time, as soon as we landed I walked in the grocery store, filled my basket with things my children would consume, came home, and cooked dinner. What a difference a year makes.

We have become comfortable here, and Thailand is now our home. This is a good thing. This is a goal for every missionary, but for me it has come with a very uncomfortable realization, I adapted too well to my surroundings. Because of this, I have adapted to and completely receive this world in which I live when scripture clearly teaches it is NOT MY HOME. In those first days here in Thailand everything was foreign and uncomfortable and we longed for our real home. Do I long for my heavenly home? Most days…no. Rarely do I find this world uncomfortable and when I do…I conclude something is REALLY wrong and set about to fix it at all cost.  

Maybe being uncomfortable is a good thing? Maybe, just maybe, fitting in should not be our goal? Maybe that night God gave me the song “Return to Sender” as an invitation. He wants me to return to Him. He wants us all to come to Him because of a deep longing within our souls, a need to be home in Him.