A long way for a little mission work

10/29/2012 DAN GLEITER, The Patriot-News

Some of you may have noticed my recent absence from T&C, and the lack of information regarding said absence.  I’m not lazy, nor has any serious emergency occurred to me or my loved ones.  Eight days ago, I received a call from the American Red Cross, with which I recently became a volunteer, asking if I would deploy to New Jersey for a few weeks to help with relief following Hurricane Sandy.  I agreed to go and help those who were suffering from a disaster which is far more common in my current home of Louisiana.  During my time in the Garden State, I have had a great amount of time for silence, reflection, and vast opportunity for ora et labora.

So many thoughts have bounced around in my head, but really they all boil down to following God’s will.  Team members, hurricane victims, and unaffected people all in some way or another try to resist things outside their control.  The ones who seem to fare the best are those who, as one Indian priest said are, “like rice.”  Rice bends in the rain, lays down, and goes with the flow.  It does not insist on standing fast and is not rigid against change.  As the servants at the wedding feast at Cana, it does “whatever He tells you.”

This disastrous event has provided ample opportunity to observe and examine the microcosm of players, their attitudes, and the fruit they bear; and those who bent managed to recover more quickly, receive more readily, and serve more fully.  Our fallen nature tempts us to become stiff and rigid, stubborn and foolish, but God calls us to something greater, the active submission to his will, and only through that submission can we live for that which we were truly created.