“All in due time” is a phrase that I have never quite understood. My personality is one that has always leaned towards the Martha side of that famous Bible story. The one where she forgets that her relationship with Jesus and others is more important than the task. For me it has always been, after dinner, let’s get the dishes finished before enjoying dessert. After school, let’s get the homework finished so that the rest of the night is free. A teacher would talk about a project weeks in advance, and yes, I was that student who would start the assignment that night. Now this inner motivation has certainly been very useful throughout my life. It’s helped me accomplish 50 milers, a teaching license, and move a thousand miles away from home. But there is another side. A part of me that struggles to choose others instead of tasks. To place things of eternal value over things of this world. To best explain this newfound epiphany, I am going to tell a story. As my student Priscila says, “Miss Quigg, you have a story for everything!” So grab some tacos and take a moment to catch a glimpse of life in Puerto Escondido, Mexico.
If anyone has ever moved houses, you know the task can seem daunting. The endless boxes and hours of packing and then unpacking is not for the faint of heart. Moving in Mexico is an even more… unsettling process. Mostly due to the fact that creatures are found under any pile that hasn’t been touched in a while. The “blue house girls” (3 of my fellow teachers) were excitedly moving to a new casa! And the day of labor had arrived. Like any good friend (who was bribed with a free smoothie) I offered to lend a hand (or two). The boxes were quickly packed, two trips to the new house, a quick run to the plastic store, burritos for lunch, a few tears as an old country song made us reminisce, and sweeping, dusting, and mopping the old house…all in less than 4 hours. Three Americans and one Canadian sure knew how to get the job done! We even had time to watch the boy’s soccer game that afternoon.
Now fast forward a few weeks. I was asked to go and help a Mexican family complete the same process of moving. The first load was delivered and then we returned to the house. I watched in bewilderment (although I tried not to show it) as everyone sat down and one of the women went to go buy some drinks (Coke of course!). Talking and laughing ensued, taking pictures of the men wearing a funny hat, all while Grandpa fell asleep in the rocker. Before moving to Mexico I was encouraged to view everything with the idea that it is just different, not weird or strange…just different. But this. Resting while there was much work to be done. This was…new. Everyone eventually got moving again and a second load was unpacked. While at the house I heard a familiar voice calling, “Quigg!” I looked over and one of the girls from the soccer team lived right next door. We talked and while she was telling me about her hurt ankle I began to forget about the task, forget about the loads left to complete, and just enjoy. Enjoy conversation. Enjoy talking with a person who became more important than what I was doing. And then the day didn’t seem so different after all. We went to pick up a stove and I enjoyed eating watermelon and holding a baby. We went to get some drinks, and I enjoyed sitting in the shade and trying to understand a 4-year-old’s Spanish. While sitting in the truck, driving back and forth, I began to understand Mary a little bit more. That people and their stories are more important than how fast it takes to complete a task. That I guess God was right after all (imagine that) when he told Martha it was more important to just listen. So, I just want to encourage you. Slow down. Look someone in the eyes and truly care about their story. And understand that it will all work out. All in Mexican time.
Sarah Quigg graduated from Liberty University in 2015 with a B.S. in Special Education. She loves running and growing closer to God while exploring His creation! We are so happy to have her on the team, teaching 5th grade.