Lessons From Chiang Mai — Time.

It’s a funny thing coming home. Nothing changes. Everything looks the same, smells the same, even feels the same. You realized what’s changed is you. -F. Scott Fitzgerald

Time is an interesting concept. Sixty seconds makes a minute. Sixty minutes equals an hour. Twenty-four hours add up to a day, and so on and so forth. I spent the past thirty days traveling the other side of the world. That’s four weeks, seven hundred and twenty hours. We’ve heard it said time flies when we’re having fun, but fun or no fun, sixty seconds always equals a minute and there is always only twenty-four hours in a day. Still, we all experienced moments, days, and seasons of life when time…well, it flies by doesn’t it? Other moments, days, and seasons drag on for what feels like forever.

Sometimes we desire more time. There just aren’t enough hours in the day. We want to make the good times last. Sometimes we wish time away. We want to forget the past, maybe fast forward through pain because for whatever reason there isn’t joy in the moment. Other times we waste time. We spend our days waiting and longing for something better, waiting for summer, for love, for the life we’ve always wanted to live but haven’t lived it because we spent too much of our time in the yearning rather than in the moment.

Coming home is a funny thing for me. Everyone has their daily routines in place. Though time has passed, everyone’s lives seem to be just as they were before I left. If I didn’t know any better, I would think the pause button was pushed at home, and someone decided to press play again when I returned. Meanwhile I experienced time so differently than most people at home could imagine. I’m not the same having spent the past seven hundred and twenty hours in Chiang Mai. I have a heart full of precious memories. I want to share those memories with everyone on the home front, but I’m not so sure anyone will fully grasp the emotions and meanings behind my experiences. Time. I need time to process, and I believe God will show me how and when to pour out all he filled me with throughout the past four weeks.

Most of my time in Thailand was spent communicating with friends, strangers, and strangers who became friends. It was a very relational adventure. It was more of a journey of my heart than anything else. I learned a lot about myself. I was forced out of my comfort zone and recognized areas of weakness within me. I learned a lot about others, how to communicate in love, how to communicate with kindness yet with confidence and bravery. I learned a lot about purpose and a lot about God. I look forward to continuing my journey with those willing to hear my heart.

In the mean time, I invite you on an adventure. We don’t need to be world travelers to experience a new world. We don’t need a plane ticket to see new sites. All we need is to recognize time is of great value, and what we do with out time determines what great experiences we will have. You are not stuck somewhere unless you decide to be. Complacency is a deadly foe, and I think most of us need to learn to live more from intention than out of habit. Don’t let your time go to waste. Don’t fall victim to pain or anxiety, but allow yourself to process through those moments with hope in your heart. Enjoy the present and make the most of it. Don’t be afraid to take risks. Don’t be afraid to be bold. Speak what’s on your mind. Change up your routine. Try new things. Add a little spice to your life! ..and add a little spice to your food, too. It’s quite tasty. Eternity is set in our hearts. Let’s embrace that. The possibilities are endless.

|There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

      a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
      a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
      a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
      a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
      a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
      a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
      a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

  What do workers gain from their toil?  I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.| Ecclesiastes 3:1-11


One thought on “Lessons From Chiang Mai — Time.

  1. Beautiful. Glad you are home Ashley! Even more glad you got to experience many new ways to taste and see that the Lord is good!


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