On Wasps & Russian Roulette
Have you ever played Russian roulette with a nest of wasps? You can’t win. There isn’t any chance that the situation ends well, especially if the plan involves a bucket and a long stick. Of course, I knew that the plan had a chance to fail before it was even underway, but how do you turn down a chance to tempt fate?
The entire concept of a mission trip works kind of like that. Even if the entire trip goes perfectly, you leave feeling like you lost, simply because you had to leave and won’t be able to come back for another year. Here I am on Sunday night, already thinking about how hard it is to leave; it’s a curse to know what’s coming because you fear it. With the wasps, I knew that stings were the most likely end to the escapade. With the mission trip, I know that I will always leave feeling like I haven’t done enough. But that knowledge also means you cherish what chances you have before that moment comes, like the final seconds before attacking the wasps when I convinced myself the plan was foolproof, or the smiles of the Bahamians who you’ve bonded with and hope to see again.
But this is where our metaphor parts. Wasps sting, the plan fails, people scream, you almost fall off a ladder, and then your left temple feels like a bass drum is kicking it because the plan was not foolproof, but created by people now proven to be fools. Our mission trip may end, but those who partake are far from fools. We know lives will have been impacted, we know work will be done, and we know that the end is rarely the actual end, but only a beginning to something greater. That’s why I’ve been here eight times, and why 115 different people have taken the trip to Grand Bahama Island as part of our group for the last eight years.
Today was a wonderful primer for the week to come, and it almost felt like a shot in the arm to get working again on the island. It’s a drug. Not like the Advil I took after being stung seven times today, but a natural high - the kind of feeling you get when you know you are exactly where you are supposed to be. So yes, I will have to leave this island later this week, and my heart will sink when I realize there is much work yet to be done, but that’s okay. Wasps can sting, but the swelling will fade. This feeling in my head, in my heart, and in my spirit, has not, and will not, fade anytime soon.
That’s a game I’m willing to play anytime.
*Note: We’ll be doing a live webcast tomorrow (Monday) night at 10 pm. Feel free to tune in at BahamasMission.com.*