Unsatisfied By Average

The Musings of a Stubborn Believer

What Really Counts

Around the world, and back again…

Part of my heart is still in Southeast Asia. 
What remains of me has been completely transformed. 
I’m an American. Make no mistake. 
But I don’t see the world like the typical American. Not any more…
I cross the threshold back into my office/studio/bedroom at 0300, clap twice. Soft lights around the perimeter of the ceiling surge, illuminate the place. I stop and stare.
Is this my world?
Morning light comes. (3 hours later.)
I press the silver button that will bring my MacPro to life. It doesn’t. 
I hear the sounds of a failing hard drive.
Thank you Jesus!
No, I’m serious. That’s exactly what I said. 
Do you know that stress is a choice?
Do you know that life is about much more than emails, work, school, stuff?
Or shall I say, much less?

Ask my Cambodian friends.
I work in the garden instead of the office. Then I leave home again, after 48 hours. In my flip flops. My dead computer stays. I thank Jesus for [another] Seagate failure all the way to Oklahoma… 
Because to eat, to sleep, to pray…
To serve,

this is life. 

And my computer, and my email, and my to-do list… These other things that dominate when someone asks me what I’m going to do today? 
Those are actually accessories.
On this trip, the accessories stayed home. My iPhone went to Europe in Joshua’s pocket. 
And I just loved people.

I’ve never felt so alive.


  1. Looks like LOTS of fun!!

  2. ummm…the beauty of simplicity.

  3. heeyy I've been up that tower in the last picture!

    And here's to life without accessories! My Jesus had it straight when He said a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of things he possesses. 😉

    To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable; and wealthy, not rich; to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart; to study hard; to think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common – this is my symphony.
    –William Henry Channing

  4. Ahh, yes. Yes.
    Have you been up that tower? 🙂 worth every tight trapdoor.

  5. The power of Praise and Thankfulness,
    being overseas-It changes how you "see" every thing, doesn't it Sean.

  6. Mmmm… an echo of the things my heart has been learning lately too…

  7. Amen brother. Just what I have been thinking lately. Praise God for interruptions in "our" busy schedule!

  8. shhhh…I have never been up the tower…

  9. It gives another dimension to what Success really is

  10. Haha! Really!? Sad loss… 🙂

  11. I know the feeling, Sean. 🙂 I experienced it at the ripe young age of 14, when I returned from my first mission trip to the Philippines. It changed me completely…I can't rest content anymore to pamper myself in my little world, when there are those starving (physically and spiritually), living on mere pennies, dying for lack of money to buy medication, etc. How can I dare to spend my money on unnecessary luxuries? How can I dare to live a life of indifference? How can I not return, to help tangibly fill the need tugging at my heart? Since I finished college recently, these thoughts have been gnawing at my mind incessantly. I have to go back. I must.

  12. I have never been where you were not even anything similar but i do know this God wants so much more of our hearts our lives then we can ever imagine when we settle in our hearts i mean truly settle we can begin to live like he did…a life true surrender and love.

  13. Now you understand how we could be in Siem Reap for a week and never step foot in Angkor Wat. $20 dollars suddenly seems like a fortune when you know it could feed a family for a week…

  14. Are you serious?! haha Too funny.

  15. Can't agree more with you, Sean!!! You are so right. Your post brought back a lot of memories of the 3+ years I spent in the jungle. No internet, no electricity, no phones… Best life ever…

    Btw, it was great meeting and talking to your brother at Youth in Mission, Germany! 🙂

  16. Thanks for the reminder, Sean. btw, You still have to tell me the taxi story,(and no rush either) 😉

  17. And, you can't just get rid of possessions because they are "worn out" a bit by a stain, as tare, or somethings else. You now have to ware them out until you can't possibly use them any more. You can't just through things away when they can still be used. The value of things becomes much higher to you.

  18. In 3 months, I'll find myself back in America for 2 months. I'm looking forward to it, but majorly not. Oh, let me stay in this little part of Asia with my Karen people!, my heart cries. The thought of leaving them and the world–the destitute life–that surrounds me is painful and exceeds the excitement of going to my "old home." How can I leave?

    I first faced the huge difference between America and Asia when I went on my first mission trip to the Philippines in 2009. My view on life in the US greatly changed and it played a roll into me wanting to get involved in foreign mission for long term as soon as possible. It was hard to deal with the difference, but I think it will be much harder this time since I'll be coming from a little part of Asia that is way far more different from the world of America than the part of the Philippines where I was. Let me stay here!

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