Guess who's back?

Well, I'm finally back from Mexico. For those who didn't know, I have spent the last few weeks in Mexico, doing what I do there. Which means I directed two different camps, one in Madero (about 450 people) and one in Cuernavaca (about 2000 people). Those numbers seem pretty impressive to me, but then I remember that this has been going on for a billion years and all I have to do is show up. And I guess there is some responsibility involved and I do take pride in that, but seriously, if it wasn't me, somebody could have done it.

The trip was a great chance for me to explore my leadership though, because I could explore different aspects without damaging too much. For example, I got some feedback first week that I was too passive, that I didn't make strong decisions and inform people about them. In my defense (which I am primarily interested in, it would seem), there were a lot of volunteers there who had been to the camp for so many years and I respected their opinion. Apparently, people are not always interested in being asked their opinion, sometimes they just want to be told what to do. And I think that there were people at the camp who were looking to me for a decision, not to get their input. So second week I made decisions a little more. And sometimes people agreed and sometimes they didn't. But I was the one making decisions and the repercussions always came back to me, which I think is what they were interested in.

And on the other hand, I always appreciate it when someone else makes a decision that might cost me political capital and they take the fall; why would I expect different from others I work with?

I might have mentioned that I didn't feel very spiritual in the weeks leading up to the trip. That was true. This trip definitely was a great few weeks of work and I did get filled emotionally and mentally, but spiritually, I think there was a gap for me. I confess, I didn't go to more than a couple chapels, I didn't worship with too much vigor, I didn't actively engage the Spirit of God in the traditional sense. I did get to develop community with some great people and that was rad, but most of that primarily fed my basic desire to be loved, I think.

Speaking of which, read "Searching for God Knows What" by Donald Miller, the same guy who wrote "Blue Like Jazz." It's a little more intentional than "Jazz" and also relational, I think. On the other hand, it doesn't jump around as much and there was a certain attachment to that for a random thinker like me.

Also read Chuck Palahniuk books. He wrote "Fight Club" and there were some great ideas in there. He just has such a great sense of the culture around us as well as how we fit into the absurdity of it. And he's a quick read, which is nice.

I'm glad to be back. I missed my wife and Oregon Honey Beer. And my dog, too, I guess. The thing which is most disturbing about two weeks of absence is that somewhere in there normalcy gets replaced with the new habits and then has to be reset somewhere in the process. So I wake up at night with weird dreams about late chapels and poor decisions and the like. Weird. So if anyone asks about my subconcious, apparently I'm afraid of losing control, or poor leadership, or something like that.

Keep the faith. Remember that community is the most important thing we'll ever encounter as humans.

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