I'll never forget reading a letter from my father on a train in Hungary. I had just arrived in the country as a new missionary. I was terrified of the difficult language and the food that I knew nothing about. I was thrilled and excited, of course, but there was definitely a lot of fear involved. Then I read a letter from the old man that said to "embrace the differences" and "enjoy the newness." He told me about an American he'd known when he lived in Mexico who complained about all of the things that weren't American about Mexico. She wanted the food, music, and culture of America...in Mexico. "What a missed opportunity!" Dad said. "You can have America all the rest of your life. But that was her chance to have Mexico. She missed it. This is your chance to have Hungary. Don't miss it. " I took that on as a challenge of sorts and tasted and saw and enjoyed and noticed all that I could about Hungary. I didn't want to miss the differences. It's those differences that I miss and cherish.
Now I find myself in a new place. A small town (only I've been informed that its really a "city" since we have a Walmart!) only an hour or so away from "home" but very different and unknown. I'm feeling a lot of fear and worry, however, there is also a sense of excitement and challenge to embrace the differences.
And so, my word is:
I'm going to make it my adventure to taste, and see, and smell, and learn and make this place my home.
What's your word?