We got up at 4am, grabbed our lunches and headed for the bus station for the ride to Rio Dulce. The comfort and convenience of the Guatemalan bus system that we used (http://www.litegua.com/) was surprising. It was clean, safe, and well run. Except for making three lanes out of two on the road and the crazy passings (mainly the other drivers), I felt completely safe and comfortable on our journey. That’s far more than I can say when taking the Greyhound in the USA.
After a while we started getting a little board so Justin showed me the Johnny, Johnny, Johnny, Johnny, Whoop, Johnny, Whoop, Johnny, Johnny, Johnny, Johnny game. Basically, one person shows the other a serious of steps and the second person has to repeat it exactly, but the way it’s done almost nobody gets it.
I didn’t get it until Justing was very obvious about the catch. To make things interesting we introduced it to some of our teammates and before long everyone on our team was a victim of this silly game. It lasted for the better part of an hour if not longer while we traveled the countryside.
It’s like a lot of things we experience in life. Sometimes it’s easy to focus on the hard things and miss the really simple stuff. In our desire to be smart, we miss the obvious stuff that’s right under our noses.
It’s so easy to get caught up in religion and miss the relationships which are far more important. God doesn’t want us debating mind numbing issues and ignoring the needs of others. He commands us to love him first and then to love others. Love is a relationship, not having “knowledge” of God, knowing the future, or holding some special insight into the scriptures. It’s also, not placing judgement on someone’s faults, especially when we have enough of our own to deal with.
Do we really need to be having discussions (even arguments) about what music to play in church when there are starving children? Is it right to complain about the comfort of the church pews, the length of the service, or how good our preacher speaks when there are people in our own community that are hurting and in need of a shoulder to cry on, a warm blanket, or a hot meal? Sometimes we focus on the hard stuff and miss the obvious things right under our noses. We shouldn’t have to come face to face with poverty and real needs to recognize this.
Our journey continued until we reached our drop point around 1pm in the afternoon. It was on the side of the highway just outside of Rio Dulce where we boarded two cattle trucks for the drive into the forest.
I have to admit, there was a moment when we got off the bus that I asked myself what was going on. I’m in a foreign country, getting dropped in the middle of who knows where in a place I don’t speak the language. But then I thought of the mission we were here to accomplish and my “get it done” instincts kicked in as we loaded the cattle trucks and on to the mission we go.