A very good friend of mine, who came to visit me this morning and stuck with me all the way to the security gate at O’Hare as I prepared to leave for Thailand, gave me an assignment as we said goodbye to write a pre-trip blog post. So here it is.
I’m headed into an unknown. My feelings about this adventure swing farther on both sides of the emotional pendulum then mine usually do. I feel ecstatic about the opportunity. I also feel, as I have described to a family member or two, akin to the way I feel at the top of a roller coaster. It’s the feeling of butterfly-punctuated, breathless anticipation coupled with acute awareness that I’m about to start flying very quickly and that I have no guarantee of anything to come. It certainly gets the blood going.
To further the pendulum analogy, I am feeling two breeds of anticipation. I look forward to a lot of new relationships and a lot of trying new things. I am very much excited for the prospect of learning a new city, culture, and way of life. And I am excited to experience head coaching and international basketball. On the converse, I also am experiencing and evaluating feelings of “Oh crap, I don’t know enough or have the skills/experience to do this” and “What if I can’t connect with them?” and “Do I have what it takes?” and “I really hope this works”. Those feelings, in my opinion, are only worth entertaining to spur me on to better preparation and once they’ve served that purpose, there is no reason to waste energy worrying about it.
I once read a piece of advice in the form of some inspirational quote that I have much appreciated. It read something like this: “If you are offered an opportunity that you’re not sure if you’re qualified to take, take it and learn how to do it as you go.” I didn’t think I would receive so drastic an opportunity to try that out. But here goes.
If you think of me, pray for the relationships that I’ll have the opportunity to build. Pray for wisdom that I might be as effective a coach as I can be. Pray that logistics, sickness, opposition, and danger won’t get in the way of doing what God has for me to do. And pray that God does something mighty not only in my heart and life but in the hearts and lives of those with whom I’ll come into contact. I’m looking forward to sharing some of those stories with you soon!
Until I write again,