Time well wasted

Monday was one of those days. One of those days where I looked back at the end of the day and could not really tell you a single thing I accomplished. I have more of those days than I care to think about. Those of you who know me, know that I REALLY like to accomplish things.  I am a big fan of efficiency, productivity, hard work, and having something to show at the end of the day.  That can be a challenge here at times, but I think the Lord probably has something to teach me through all of this.

Monday was supposed to be a day spent at the goat site with the vet doing vet work. That was the sole purpose of the day and how I had set it aside to be used. He was supposed to arrive in our town around 10:00 am. He called around 10:15 to say that he was about 35 minutes away. I am a big fan of punctuality, but since this is Africa I let that one go. I’m not really sure what happened between the time I woke up and 11:00 am, but I’m pretty sure I managed to get nothing visible actually done since I was anticipating this day being for the goat site. I had to haul some rather long posts (i.e. large sticks) out to the site, so Ashley, Dr. John, and I headed off around 11:00. It wasn’t long before the posts had slipped out of their pitiful rigging on the back of my truck and were dragging the ground. We stopped, resituated all of them, and retied them knowing that we were taking a gamble on them staying put. I tried to drive rather slowly the rest of the way to keep the posts from bouncing out of their ropes again, so it ended up being 1:00 pm before we got out to the site. A one hour ride turned into two. Following the vet’s lead, we got there and looked around at the animals, piddled a little bit with a few small issues and then decided we should eat before we got started doing the real work.

About that time, Dr. John realized that the guard at the site had rolled up his car windows and locked his doors….with the keys still in the ignition. For well over an hour we tried unsuccessfully to rig open a door or window. Giving up, we went ahead and ate lunch, but there was nothing more we could do. Everything Dr. John had brought with him – medicines, ultrasound machine, etc. were locked up in that car. Luckily we had driven separately because of my having to haul the posts, so I was able to bring Dr. John back to town (It was that or a 25 km walk).  Someone from the capital had agreed to drive and meet us halfway (we are three hours from the capital) with the spare set of keys to Dr. John’s car. So, after dropping Ashley off at the house to get dinner started we headed to meet up with the spare keys. We got them, turned around and came back arriving back in town after dark (it really is very unsafe to drive here at night so we try to avoid it if possible). We ate dinner and everyone went to bed exhausted, yet for the life of me I couldn’t figure out what I had to show for that day.

Days like this don’t happen all the time, but wasted time happens a lot more than I care for. Time is not an important factor to people here and they don’t speed up just because I think it is. There are just some things that take 5-10 times longer than they ever should. I would be lying if I said this did not drive me absolutely crazy some days.  But, then again, I often stop and wonder what could the Lord possibly be trying to teach me here. Perhaps to trust more, be more patient, not always have to be on a schedule or accomplishing the next thing – the list could go on for a while. I can’t say that I have learned my lesson yet, but maybe at the end of all this my attitude will be a little closer to how He would have it be.

Bet you thought I spent all day saving souls and feeding the poor and hungry. If it were only so.  But as unproductive as some days are, I still believe that He is leading me and teaching me and all of these things are working together for His good…one way or another.

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