Monday, November 3, 2014

Weekly Update 16: God Makes Time

What are you waiting for?

I have this inane little game on my iPad. It's a management game so it requires no skill, timing, or ability to see similarly colored gems with potential alignment. You just assign your little characters a task and then wait for them to finish. Progress increases upon their accomplishments and the purchase of more characters. There isn't even a world building aspect and because I refuse to spend actual dollars on "in-app offers" my advancement in the game is almost glacial in its speed. And yet, I cannot stop playing it.

One character finishes his tasks in less than a minute, the returns are minuscule but he requires resending upon each return. This gives me something to do while waiting for my higher grade characters to accomplish their goals and get bigger returns. Every time they do their thing I get to tap the screen a bunch of times as virtual gold coins go bouncing around and accumulate in my "bank." And the process starts again. 

The game developers have mimicked reality in that greater returns require greater patience. The quick fix provides little reward. Sustainable farming not only requires patience, it almost creates it. Why Jesus made so many connections between agriculture, our lives, and Kingdom living has made so much sense since joining this school. The quick fix in our gardening, our investments, and our lives will often cause more damage than benefits. We tell the children using chemicals to solve problems in their lives is the same as using chemicals to solve problems in their soil. Taking vicodin for an injury is a suitable immediate solution but might not be the best option for long term management. Chemical pesticides and fertilizers have also demonstrated their long term detriment on our American soil. 

We have since the beginning of this school been rebuilding the Ugandan soil in our garden beds with compost, manure, and extensive mulching. Last week we also learned natural ways to rebuild our bodies. Anamed is an international organization that promotes natural and indigenous plant based medicines. Christopher, the Uganda National Director, led our instruction for the week. The organization focuses on 60 different tropical plants and fruits that treat maladies but are also helpful for our well being. As you see in the pictures, Dora, our mini-midwife in training, not only got to sit in but helped in many of the practical applications.

Moringa, the miracle tree, is a plant with many uses. We were shown one of benefits of its seeds in water purification. The pitcher Dora is stirring in the lower left photo is dirty water getting mixed with the moringa seed solution. The next day that water was clear! Now, it still needed boiling to kill all the stuff you can't see but the sediment was bound to the solution at the bottom of the pitcher. Dora enjoyed making ointments, soap, and tinctures from all these natural products and learned an important principle of how God's provision will sustain but isn't always as rapid as we demand. We have already started growing some of the plants that will be useful in keeping us free of malaria and adding nutrition to our diets.

What has God put in place for wellness in your life that would be much easier if you just did it yourself? Is it relationships, nutrition, career, finances, child raising or all of the above? Is waiting the worst part or is it the fear of there not being enough time? Every time we come up to the deadline of something, worrying every step of the way, we find once the "thing" is done it worked out just the way it should have, as though God had a plan all along. Funny how the timing seems to work out when the one who created time is in control.

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