Sunday, May 27, 2012

India on my mind

About a week and a half ago, my boss called me into his office to chat.

"Hill, you want to go to India?"

"Hahaha. Yes." (Trying my best to laugh at his cruel sarcasm).

"Ok, great. I'll put you in touch with the people who invited me."

Wait, what?

Turns out a PR group invited my boss for a press tour of India for an upcoming film, Not Today, to be released next summer.

He's going to be out of the country already and everyone else has been on assignments this year, so that means I get to go to India to visit the slums of Bangalore, Hyderabad and Mumbai as well as the schools that have built to keep kids from being sold into human-trafficking.

I've always wanted to visit India, but never gave it any thought because I could never figure out how I would even begin to plan visiting there. Now however, God is giving me the awesome opportunity to meet people that I would never in my life have the opportunity to meet otherwise and experience a culture that is entirely its own.

I must admit, I am terrified about the crowds and poverty that I will see. I've been reading a book by an American woman who just decided to live with Mother Teresa's order, the Missionaries of Charity, for a month while she was in college in the 80s. Before leaving for India her prayer was something along the lines of, "Lord, help me to be attracted to the poor and deformed and not repulsed by them."

I love that because it is so honest. Our natural inclination is to turn away from deformation and suffering and to love the afflicted from afar, perhaps with a silent prayer or donation to a charity. While in India, I know I will be exposed to the most extreme poverty that I will ever see in my life. I pray that I will be able to see Christ in them and that they may see him in me.

Although the movie is made by an evangelical church, I'm going to try and sneak in all the Catholic content I can. My co-worker suggested that I just tell the group I have to get to daily mass everyday and bring my video equipment and interview all the Catholics I meet at the church. Brilliant!

My biggest hope is that I'll meet some Missionaries of Charity while I'm over there. If I do, I will probably ask for their autographs and just want hang out with them for the entire trip. This only confirms my family's suspicions they will receive a collect call from an Indian payphone from me saying I've joined the MCs and am never coming home. I told them I'd prefer to marry a 6'2" Indian man and live as family missionaries, but I don't think that's likely either.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Sometimes I just have to think

Who knew blogging could be so daunting? All you have to do is sit down, write anything down and hit 'publish.'

Not so simple for a perfectionist.

Although it may seem like I've been silent for these past few weeks, I have been thoroughly racking my brain for ideas and trying to come up with the next great post. I even have pages and pages of new posts in my notebook that just somehow never made it up here.

Because that is how perfectionists work. We get caught up in an endless train of what-ifs, maybes, and not good enoughs to the point where nothing gets done.

I realized that this rut I've fallen into in my blog-life is eerily similar to patterns in my real life.

So, for example, when I realize I need to make changes in my spiritual life, I just sit and think, "Well, if I were better, I wouldn't be in this mess in the first place so first I have to fix it and then go to God."

Or when I realize I still have a hard time meeting new people, rather than reaching out to acquaintances in order to establish actual relationships with people I think, "Well, if I weren't so shy, I wouldn't have to make an effort, it would just happen naturally so I have to fix that first."

And then the "fix that first" part turns into "I don't even know where to begin."

Thankfully, a priest recently reassured me, "God favors humility over perfection" and I'm beginning to (slowly) realize how true that really is.

The way that I'm beginning to see it is if God wanted us to be perfect all the time, he wouldn't have given us free will. We could have just been made to love God and only God. But that wouldn't be true love at all. While that is what we are hardwired to do, it still isn't what we always choose. Nonetheless, God trusted us with that choice when he created man (and still does, over and over and over again).

So I guess that the point of this whole sloppy rant is, I will never be perfect by my own means. This dinky blog will never be perfect, I will never be a super-extrovert (which for some odd reason equals perfection in my mind, I just realized), but God still loves me and he rejoices in the true humility it takes to return to him when I stumble.

Stay tuned: More about my upcoming trip to India, how I offend perfect strangers and why single women are single.