In the not too distant past I dreamt about the days when the power wouldn’t go off every day, when I could go to In ‘n Out, and when I could buy Pepsi in a plastic bottle. Now I long for those days of the past. Living here in southern California and more generally in the United States I have become spoiled.
Life in Uganda is lived day by day, minute by minute. Survival is a reality not just a given. Death is ever present, especially if you’re riding a boda boda through downtown Kampala. Here in California I’ve become a softie, getting what I want when I want, I don’t think about death and I imagine I’ll live forever. Quite the contrast.
It’s funny how the little things were so nice in Uganda. One day where the electricity didn’t go off was a miracle, having a day where it was on longer than it was off was a blessing. I loved drinking Pepsi and Coke out of glass bottles, but once in a while I just wanted one that was in a plastic container with a resealable lid so I could just toss it around. But, I had to take a 12 hour bus ride to Nairobi, Kenya just to get one of those. Another big difference is transportation. My wife and I have 2 vehicles that we can hop in and go to where we need to go fairly quickly (even though the Los Angeles traffic is starting to infect us), but in Uganda I either had to walk, take a boda boda, or a taxi and it could take up to an hour just to get into Kampala.
I’m not a rich man, but I can basically get what I want when I want it even if I don’t need it. I’m not relying on the donations of kind people to help me get food. If I’m hungry I find something to eat, I don’t have to spend a day with that growling, longing for food rumbling in my stomach. When I want to take a shower I just turn on the hot water. Even in an equatorial country like Uganda a hot shower is nice, but those were a rarity.
I don’t say all these things to put down the US, it’s more about me personally. I’ve allowed myself to slip, to become dependant on myself rather than trusting God to get me through a day. I’ve gotten comfortable having all these luxuries (which I enjoy) instead of finding joy in the little things. I’ve gotten fat off the land instead of just having my daily bread. I’ve realized that for me, it takes so much more discipline and faith to live here in the States because I get blinded and lulled into a comforable existence. I miss the days of truly living in faith that God would provide each single day everything that I needed. The awesome thing was that God always did provide. Now I try to provide. I would love to go back to Uganda and live, but for now I’m here and I really want to try to shed some of these comforts, shed some of this self-sufficiency and cling to the feet of Jesus. I want him to be the one I put my faith in, not myself, not my job, not my money, not my Pepsi in a plastic bottle.