Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Longing for Lugu
I was watching a bit of Public TV on a recent weekend, because I'm a dork who loves public television. I was watching Martin Yan's China. This is basically a cooking show in which Yan visits locations in China, gives you a bit of cultural and geographical history and then cooks a local dish. This particular week he was high in the mountains of southern China, visiting beautiful Lugu Lake, where women rule the roost. A seven-hour drive from the nearest major city, the people of this region are known for both their hospitality and their food. You get the idea.
Anyway, watching things like this always gives me a strange longing to dump everything I have tomorrow and move to rural China as a missionary. I don't have this feeling about any other region of the world, but for some reason, I have this bizarre desire to go to China. Incidentally, reality always strikes when I have these bouts of romantic notion. For starters, I have a family who is depending on me for their needs and security. My wife's medical needs alone would not permit travel to a remote region anywhere. I have no skills to help anyone in rural China with anything. I'm a technology teacher and a web designer. I'm not good at manual labor or real work of any kind. Let's face it, a large portion of my life has been dedicated to educating myself to be qualified to do do things that require the smallest amount of actual physical effort possible.
Maybe, I should perhaps start with a missions trip. The problem is, I'm not really that excited about missions in general. I have no desire to go serve in any of the places my church actually goes. Unfortunately, while my huge church has active missions in India, Ethiopia, Cuba, and Guatemala. we don't go to China or Japan. Those are incidentally the only two places other than the US that I'd really like to visit, let alone spend any real time in. Maybe if I looked a bit more closely at myself, I would realize that what I really want is an exotic vacation. It's difficult to admit how selfish I really am sometimes. Heck, I don't even volunteer at the local homeless shelter.
Someday, I hope to become less of a selfish scumbag. I have so much in reality and share so little. I need to get my priorities in line with what I claim to be my beliefs. Maybe I can't afford to go spend a day at the rescue mission with a 5-month-old at home, but I'm sure I could volunteer my skills as a designer for an organization that needs it. My wife, who knows very little about web design and administration, is volunteering with the online end of a camp for diabetics. What am I doing? For now, I'll just watch Martin Yan on PBS and sizzle up some stir-fry for dinner.