I learned a lot in Kashmir, and I am certain that I haven’t even begun to process through it all. Even if I could put everything into words, I don’t know where I would start. I am convinced that God is still, little by little, revealing kingdom principles to me. Only a few days into the trip, He began to reveal three simple things to me. I would like to share them with you, and perhaps we can make some changes in our lives together.
1. Be more hospitable. If hospitality was a race, I am certain that Kashmiri’s would take home the gold. It was nothing for them to invite us into their home. We would go inside, sit on the floor, and the host would bring in some tea. They always brought some sort of cookie, cracker, or bread to enjoy along with it. My favorite was the coconut macaroons! We would sit across from our host and listen and chat intensively, while enjoying a cup of hot tea. This was treasured time, and I realize that as sisters in Christ, we need more times like these. I learned that by dropping whatever I am doing to listen and make tea, I am showing value to a friend and building a relationship.
2. Don’t be so attached to the comforts of home. I am not going to lie. I missed my bathroom and my bed terribly. I can not help it. I may be spoiled, but in America, I never have to really worry about the standards of cleanliness in a hotel. The very first night I was shocked by what I had gotten myself into. I felt guilty that I felt that way, especially with my veteran world travelers telling me how nice it really was. But, every day I became more assimilated, and gradually I became aware of just how attached to material things I really am. Don’t get me wrong. I am not selling my comfortable mattress tomorrow or anything. I still enjoy those comforts that are part of our blessed everyday life. However, I will remain ready to leave them behind, if at any time God calls me somewhere else.
3. Be intentional about building relationships. This is one that I thought I was good at. That is, until I saw the missionaries out on the field. Every relationship they make is a possibility to them. They don’t leave the house without an awareness of if God opens a door, then they need to run into it, and they not only run into it, but they run straight into the heart. They are vigilantly seeking out opportunities to form bonds with people that will hopefully lead to changed lives. I need that intentionality. I need that kind of focus when it comes to relationships. We don’t have that much time here. Let’s not waste it.
These are three simple things about my own life that God revealed to me while I was in Kashmir. I will be forever changed by this trip to Kashmir, and I hope to start with these three small things.