On Day Ten, we find ourselves in Balangoda. American A and I have struggled with the stress on syllables from town to town and BAH-LAN-GO-DUH has been no exception. I had to wonder if Paul struggled when he went to foreign lands with the the city names that are so familiar to us: Corinth, Rome, Thessolanica, Philippi?
And as we go and face 21st century discomforts, I smile while making some comparisons, I have not been beaten – but definately 'bugged' in some of our choices in hotels. I have not been shipwrecked – but car stranded on a hilltop with wild monkeys crossing the road and jumping through the trees. I haven't suffered the 40 lashes, but 40 hours of flight and travel is its own form of punishment.
These days, I can say with all certainty there is nothing I wouldn't do, no lengths I wouldn't go to – to see the message preached, His love shown and shared to those whose only hope is in Him. And as I write this approaching midnight, a train rumbles past my hotel window, and of course has to blast a warning sound – in case I might get in its way.
You have to laugh – because I know Paul did. His letters even allude to his good humored nature about his trials...
'consider it all joy...'
Our return journey to the Kandy region takes us through the mountains, jungles and vast tea estates of the region. The short cut, turned out to be the 'high road' and while my aversion therapy may have needed updating – sitting in a smoking van and watching the driver shift into reverse to let an oncoming vehicle pass on the one lane road 1000 feet above sea level is more like shock treatment!
Watching a TV series on DVD that focuses on people dying before their time, probably hasn't eased the anxiety either. Oh but the view! When I can muster up the courage to look out the window (don't worry it's more often than I let on) the scenery is breathtaking. I have seen fauna and flora that HAD to be created. No 'bang', no matter how 'big' could have produced such beauty.
I'm working on my fright as He leads me to the heights!
What a God, His road stretches straight and smooth. Every God direction is road tested. Everyone who runs towards Him makes it. Psalm 18 (The Message)