August 1, 2015 - Thailand

.001863. Assuming each of us has 72 years to live and impact the earth, that number is the section of my life I’ve spent in Bangkok, Thailand. 7 weeks is a mere blip, and incredibly tiny one at that, in the timeline of the larger part of our lives. This summer only accounted for .001863 of my worldly existence. That begs a question, doesn’t it? What makes this minuscule fraction of my life so important and transformative to me at all?

God met me in new and unforeseeable ways. He spoke clearly to me during a listening prayer session. He expanded my theology of the gospel tremendously. He plunged me into the brokenness of Bangkok as we trudged down a street in the Red Light District. He showed me what it actually meant to love the orphaned and widowed. He made me realize how fun reading is. He taught me how engage in a culture that is completely contrary to one that I live in. He prodded me to recognize my own personal heart idols as I walked past spirit houses every day. He lovingly revealed to me how to be compassionate and warm towards children who, simply, knew how to annoy. He forced me to find the small joys and beauties in a broken city. He burned into my mind the idea of lamenting for that same broken city. He taught me how to practically apply gospel truths to my everyday life. Lets just say that God was very present this summer, and He used these weeks to strike a chord in my, honestly, apathetic heart. With each strike, God was making this small percentage, this small fraction, this small blip in my life something more than just, in a semester’s time, a forgettable blip. 

There’s one last thing I learned this summer. And it is this; It doesn’t matter the size of the blip, the amount of practical lessons you learned, the ways God opened your eyes, the vast and pervasive brokenness you’ve witnessed, the intensity of the toilets and the food, or the intensity of your experience in general. The success of this trek isn’t dependent on those things- What does dictate a successful trek are the choices that you make when you get home. Those very choices transform your tiny blip into something meaningful and unforgettable.

With all of that said, I’ve made commitments to make my blip memorable. I’m convinced that I really cannot be content with merely experiencing something so cool and simply ignoring it. The way that I spend my money and time, my passions and values, and future’s trajectory have each been altered thanks to this summer, and more importantly, God. You see, that’s the funny things with these meaningful blips. The lasting ones have the power and influence to impact the remaining chunk of your life.

The end of an amazing, transforming summer has crept up on me. Seven weeks ago, I could have never even imagined what God could do with a short, single summer, but, faithfully, He has done it. Thank you for your support and prayers, and please forgive me for my lack of blog posts! Kapkum Prajao- Praise God. 

Written by Jesse