I know my limits. I know that I could never be on the T.V. show “Survivor”. First of all, the first meal I missed my blood sugar would plummet and I would go cannibal on someone. Second of all, hygiene is super important to me. Third of all, I would suck at the social element of the game. I was never good at lying. I really couldn’t give a crap about who’s popular and who isn’t. And I’m sure I would spout off my mouth and make too many people mad at me.
But having said that, sometimes I feel like us missionaries are playing our own personal game of Survivor… minus Jeff Probst. For example, I’ve been to the beach, and I can tell you that after a few hours, you are ready for a shower just to wash the sand off of you. When you can’t get all the sand off of you, it’s irritating. And so it is the same with life on the mission field. Sometimes we have irritating little problems that just won’t go away. The tiny grain of sand gradually becomes all you can think about. It could be the constant traffic, the annoying way that the locals do that one thing that you hate, or the unrelenting drip-drip-drip of daily troubles like power outages and the internet signal faltering. Whatever it is, after a while those little annoyances become huge aggravations… and there’s no way to escape them!
For me, there are cultural things that act like little grains of sand stuck to damp skin. I don’t want to make specific complaints, but I do want to express the fact that this kind of thing- being annoyed and irritated- happens to missionaries. Even missionaries who love their country and who love their work, we all have those little things that get under our skin… and we can’t escape them! Our only hope is to win the next reward challenge and pray that it’s a bar of soap and a dry towel.