First day in Siem Reap. Rob and I have seen the sites (Ankor Wat) here before and it’s hard for people to believe we are just seeing friends. Today we’re going to find the YWAM base. They’re always a little hidden because people are lunatics and when they post the address, all sorts of crazy things happen. The police show up asking how many foreigners are there and write a piece of paper for each one, hand it to the leader, and want $15 for each one. There are other stories where people come in, mingle around acting friendly, but later they find out they are there to prey on the students or other unsuspecting people at the base.
The restaurant here is part of the hotel and the people are super nice, almost a little too friendly if that were possible. It’s early morning and Rob and I are at different tables reading and journaling. It’s always an interesting concept to the locals that people would do this, but we’re Americans. We can’t help it. For better or worse, independence and personal space is in our DNA.
Thinking about Montana makes me happy. It’s a nice thought to me to think about being there, having a car and some tools, lots of open roads, and country people. I love the little Lakeside church. There’s something great about being out here in the wild east where anything goes, but lots of things in life are more about the idea than the actual thing. People who don’t even like horses dream about being cowboys.
People are motivated by ideas and feelings more than reality. Romance, status, dreams-lots of things can be nothing more than ideas. You can fear cancer all your life and never even get it. I guess they are feelings. How many things do I do just because I want to feel better. “She makes me feel…” or “I love that place. It makes me feel…” Sometimes a feeling alludes to a real thing. Other times, it’s just fear or something that’s not even worth acknowledging. My sponsor in AA used to tell me that every feeling or thought doesn’t require an action. You can just let a thought or feeling come across your mind and not respond to it.
Down here, lots of things are a mystery. Like ordering food. You never know exactly what you’ll get. No matter what you order or how clear you think you’re being, you can’t be sure. Back in Battambang, I ordered my universal favorite. It costs about $2. Fried rice, vegetable, and chicken with an egg on top-over easy. Lots of times, I don’t even open menus cause I hate looking through them. I just order that.
The first thing to arrive was a Fanta Orange soda in response to my request for a Sprite. Next came a baguette sliced down the middle with some chicken, pork, and onions mixed together inside. On the side were two eggs, over-easy and a pile of French Fries. Hmm. My first thought was, “This isn’t what I ordered. I’m sending it back.” But as I was looking at it, Rob goes, “That looks awesome!” I actually thought it did too. I was really hungry, so I ate the whole thing and it WAS awesome. The next morning, I ordered a mug of hot water into which I normally dump a packet of Nescafe instant coffee to save money. I asked for some milk to offset the bite a little. She brought out a can of sweetened condensed milk, which wasn’t what I asked for, but it also turned out to be pretty good. Funny thing was, I didn’t start by evaluating these things for what they really were. I struggled not to let “what I ordered” dominate the whole experience.
Bottom line, I don’t even know what’s best for me. Can I take what God gives as being THE way it’s supposed to be instead of trying to change it to what I want?
Trusting myself as the ultimate authority on what’s best isn’t even biblical. I know there’s something in the Bible about not being a bull-headed, know-it-all. (Proverbs 3:5) I don’t know why I cling to it so much. Maybe next time I’ll just ask for whatever they want to give me and quit being such a control freak. The lesson would be well-applied to life’s larger, more important decisions too I would imagine.