The Ideal

I found this essay, a glimpse into an MK’s life, tucked away on an old CD. It was written by one of my boys (I won’t say which one) as a high school assignment. (BTW, MK=missionary kid; PK=pastors kid.)

Can there be anything “ideal” in a person’s life? If the working definition of ideal is perfect, then no. Nothing is or can be perfect. Anything and everything  can be improved. So with myself, as with anybody, nothing is ideal, but some things are less ideal than others.

If there was one thing that I could change about my life, it would be my past, my history. I realize that this is impossible, so I will content myself with how things are now. See, my family has moved twelve times (but I found them every time!), Mansfield Sr. is my eleventh school, and I’ve belonged to six different churches. Spanning three countries and four worlds, one can say I have been around.

All the change meant no settling down, no establishing relationships – at least lasting ones. This has been hard on myself in this friend-oriented world. It seems that wherever and whenever we arrive, fitting in takes a while and finding acquaintances takes longer. By the time they’ve been established, we’re leaving next month. I have only had two good friendships lasting over two years, and one of those happens to be my cousin.

But before you pull out the next box of Kleenex, it might be useful to take a look from the other side.

If I had it my way with my history, maybe three moves to keep things fresh, but not very far away. Attend one church and perhaps only four different schools. Have friendships that grow over a dozen years, solid homies. Go to camp and PK retreat every year. Have a yearly routine, one that we could break every now and then so I wouldn’t miss much, since it would still be there. Watch a town/city grow up with me. Maybe if I had lived in Mansfield, I could go snowboarding on Friday’s with the guys from church (although those concerts they go to, forget it).

Looking back on this side of reality, I realize it is not “fate” that has brought me here. God has His plan and way and reason in doing things, so I know it has been for a purpose. I’ve had so many great experiences: many sights I’ve seen, many people I’ve met. I’ve experienced both hardships and abundance and have learned to handle pretty much anything thrown my way. I’ve seen men and women changed, and I have learned things most may never get to. Yeah I’ve missed a bunch of PK retreats, but then again I’ve been to Acapulco, Mazatlan, Costa Rica, Orlando, El Salvador, and San Antonio for missionary retreats. Maybe it hasn’t been all that bad.

Any one person’s life is not, can not be perfect. All circumstances have pros and cons, advantages and disadvantages. Mine is no different. Like those times that I wish that Ohio had been my only home, all I have to do is think of the Mexican Riviera and the free shrimp.

 

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