It was an unusual day. I was alone with my computer, blackberry, and a to do list. I sat looking out over Ho Chi Minh City and the Saigon River. I was a sailor on a perfect day. I could sense the writer capturing the moment at hand. “When a gentle southerly breeze came up, they weighed anchor, thinking it would be smooth sailing.” (Acts 27.13)
Initially my plan unfolded on schedule. From accessing the office network, to having the right files with water to drink, the stage was set. As I tackled my list methodically, I could sense the sigh of relief that would come after I ticked everything on my list.
The first warning sign came with the chirp of my blackberry. The normal email flood became a towering wave. Each was critical. Each asked for a response, now. The hope within still filled my soul, so patience remained a constant friend. With the odd calls breaking the quietness, I found myself struggling to complete each task.
My back reminded me I need a break. As I relaxed, I realized that I had been working constantly for five hours. While I had made some progress, nothing was on schedule! My agenda was shredded. I had no idea of when or how, but it seemed as though my list was impossible.
As I sat down, I looked at what remained. If I could complete the one critical item remaining, I could declare a victory of sorts. The next hour reminded me in too many ways that life is never as it seems. I looked at my task from every angle I could imagine. I paused and restarted. I make several calls seeing a point of inspiration that I could build on. Nothing worked. I was caught in the doldrums. Progress was impossible.
As I let go of work and walked out into the sunshine, I found myself aware of how much more there is to the world than what is in my head. Smells, sounds, and people flooded every sense. Life is more than me.