In recent days, people have asked me if I'm ready to go. My response has almost always been "not yet". And, that was true. It wasn't until tonight that I was fully packed (okay, I'm not completely packed yet. I still need to let a few podcasts finish downloading, put the finishing touches on some playlists and then resync my iPod before adding that to my pack.). And I definitely didn't have my life ready for me to be gone from it for two weeks until this evening. Living alone means that you have to take care of your own bills, make sure that the cats are set-up for someone to come in and care for them, do some minor picking up around the house, mow the lawn, make sure the chores are pretty much done, etc all before you can leave. Otherwise, you come home to a mess that you're in no shape to deal with. Fortunately, I've had a lot of practice doing all of this and the house is still in pretty good shape from my pre-RYM cleanup. So no worries in the physical preparations front.
The bigger thing is whether I'm mentally ready for India 2008. I'm not certain. It still hasn't really "hit me" that I'm going to India tomorrow. Part of it probably is that I've been talking about and thinking about this trip for almost a year now (some people may know that, most of the time, the mission trips for each year are preliminarily decided on by Steve and I at an after dinner conversation late in the week during the current year. For the rest of you, if you've got opinions about where we should go, get your ideas in early!). I've been planning for the trip for the past six or so months. And I've done so much travel that packing up and going somewhere isn't as big a deal for me as it is for many other people. India is a bit farther than I usually go and I know the culture is going to be much different than most of my regular trips (Texas sometimes feels like a whole different country than the rest of the planet, but it's pretty similar to most other places in a lot of ways), but, really, in a lot of ways, it's another short term mission trip (number 17 for me), another plane ride, another time to spend some concentrated time serving God with a group of His people. I say that I'm excited about this trip. And in some ways I am. But, in others, I've got a bit of a blasé attitude. It's not quite "been there, done that", but it's kinda close. And that doesn't mean that I'm not looking forward to it. I'm just not feeling that it's going to "The BESTEST BEST THING EVER that will TOTALLY CHANGE MY LIFE FOREVER!!!". Maybe it will. God can do that and that would rock. But, more likely, that won't happen. And I'm good with that. I'm ready to be flexible and try to be patient and be open to whatever God has to teach me and show me in the upcoming two weeks. And hopefully my team and I will come back in one piece (well, 9 pieces, but you get the idea), having suffered no ill effects (food or water borne diseases, physical accidents, being chewed on by sacred cows, running out of M&Ms with four days left to go on the trip, etc). But, if we don't, we'll deal. God's still in control, no matter what happens.
I'll post more when I get home.
*Semper Gumby = Always Flexible. It's a motto we brought back from a mission trip to Fairmont, West Virginia a number of years ago. One of the team coordinators there is a former Marine. It's very fitting and it has served us well.