It all started when my computer stopped working.
Before that, I was having a wonderful day. In a post about a month ago, I stated that my word for this year was "whatever." As I explained in that article, it's not about throwing my hands up in defeat. It's about surrendering to whatever God wants for me. And believe me, He's taken that surrender and used it for my own good already.
I thought He did it again today in our chapel service. Lately, God has been stirring in me an interest in Africa as a possible mission field. I have no idea what He plans on doing with that, but I have been listening for His leading. And today in chapel, the speaker was the director of an organization called Camp 10. He talked about a three-week program in South Africa this summer that, with a bit of fundraising, I could reasonably do. My mind was spinning with the possibilities.
I've always wanted to go to Africa.
God has been stirring the above mentioned interest in me.
South Africa is a first world country, which works really well for my diabetes.
I just applied for my passport and got it accepted.
Scholarships are available.
I've been watching my spending anyways.
Thus far, I am doing nothing between the dates July 14th and August 4th.
Anything else I need to get done this summer - which is quite a bit, actually - I can do around them.
Other than the fact that it comes with a shark cage excursion, this seemed like a perfect fit. It appeared as though "whatever" was beginning to pay off in this area.
Then my computer's screen went kaput.
Let me explain: My computer, affectionately christened Donatello, is a very well-loved instrument. In fact, one could say my life is tied up in the thing - I know, highly unhealthy. But it's where I store my writing. My homework. I spend more time than I should staring at that fourteen-inch screen. But, in being well-loved, it's also getting old prematurely.
The screen has been flashing black for a while now, but if I could get it at just the right angle, it would go back to normal display. But for the past few days, the only time I could get it to work was when it was at a forty-five degree angle.
Now, this makes homework and writing rather difficult if I'm always having to look over my screen or turn my laptop just so that I'm hunched over it. It's a choice between straining my eyes or straining my neck.
I took it into IT, and a few hours later, I got a reply. It's most likely a hardware issue, a loose display cable. In short, there's probably nothing they can do. I can keep it at the forty-five degree angle long enough to go in and preserve my stories, homework, and pictures, but other than that, Donnie's toast.
I began doing the calculations in my head. There is absolutely no way I can afford a new computer, my all-but-required choir trip to Canada in May, AND this excursion to Africa. Now, of all of these, one would think I'd just nix the most recently acquired desire.
But see, here's the thing: I had my heart kind of set on it, even if only for four hours. I'm finding it hard to reconcile the idea of not spending three weeks of my summer wandering the South African bush and being spiritually strengthened.
What about "whatever," God? I thought. Because South African certainly wasn't on my radar two days ago! What about "whatever?"
But I think what God is teaching me today is that "whatever" doesn't necessarily have to be a big thing that will affect my life long-term. "Whatever" can be in the little, daily mishaps, too.
"Whatever" is why I'm writing my Odyssey article in the library, where I will shortly proceed to do homework.
"Whatever" is why I'm charging my phone on said computer, because the outlets in my dorm have also gone kaput.
"Whatever" is why I'm trusting God that if, come July 14th, I'm meant to be on a game reserve in South Africa, I'll be there.
"Whatever" sounded fun, innovative, and exciting when I first decided to make it 2018's word, and so far, it's been that. But it's also been difficult, grueling, and stressful. But God's there through all of that. And today, He's using "whatever" to whet my trust instinct. To gear me up for... well, "whatever" comes next.