The Best Fish
Lisa and I have arrived back in Malawi, a small country in the Southern Central region of Africa.
Malawi is best known, outside Malawi, for its lake, but inside Malawi for the fish in the lake, the mighty Chambo fish. It’s the best fish in the world, according to locals. “Have you tried other fish from other parts of the world?” we ask. “No”, they say, but they know Chambo fish is the best.
Who am I to argue? It might be the best, but how would I know? It’s kind of like when my wife makes me a pie. It’s the best pie in the world. I don’t say to her, “this is really good, but I’m going to have to try a Sarah Lee just to make sure yours is better.” NO. I just say this is the best pie I have ever eaten, because it’s the truth.
Malawi is also known for being one of the poorest countries in the world. The average annual income is about $800 U.S. Dollars. This gives people more time than money. We have the opposite problem in the West, more money than time. Either way you have a problem. A problem usually leads to plenty of people trying to fix the problem, which usually leads to a nightmare.
The Malawians rise above it. They are cool, calm and collected. They know what they need to do for today. They are generally content to go about their day, accomplish what they need to accomplish, and get on to the next day.
Pace of Life
In coming to Africa you have to have an understanding that “The Continent” will conform you to its pace of life. It’s better not to fight it.
I’ve spent the last five days sick with something that should take a little Advil and an afternoon to clear up. Here I am, five days later, back on my feet, vividly reminded that you can’t hurry life here, and you can’t do more in a day than is meant to be done in a day.
Lisa and I sat down for a coffee a few days after we got here and spent an hour and a half just sitting, sipping coffee, talking like married people do, occasionally. We were amazed. It was fun to just take a minute and enjoy the passing of time for no other reason.
Malawi is once again teaching us
It’s teaching us to slow down, to temper our expectations for ourselves. It’s teaching us a life out of our control is not a life out of control. Malawi has the lessons, but God still has the answers.
The Bible challenges us to take no thought for tomorrow. I think this is less literal than it reads. It simply means we cannot serve today and tomorrow at the same time. We cannot serve two masters. The solution God gives us is to serve neither, but to seek first His kingdom. When we do that, ALL the other things will be taken care of (Matthew 6:33).
Thus our missionary adventure re-begins. – Matt Sliva