Usually in life, people seek to go from small to big. Bigger cars, bigger houses, bigger cities, bigger families… We aren’t. And it’s not a demotion, either. We are honestly trying to go in a positive direction for our family, our careers, our lives, etc. And somehow that has brought us to Mostar, a city roughly one fifth the size of Sarajevo, where we lived for five years.
I suppose people do it quite a bit, but for us, we never thought we would call a small town home. There are many advantages of small towns, but we are big-city people, and to us, the city is the place to be.
I still love nature. For me, there is nothing greater than to be on top of a mountain ridge, bounding through the trees and grass, taking in the sunshine, and sleeping in a tent under the stars miles from civilization. Those things are great… but only for a weekend. I’ve got to have my home in the city with my people, my buildings, my noise.
It’s not a TOWN, it’s an ADVENTURE
This is one of the big lessons that I’ve learned since leaving my native United States. Life is not meant to be lived in a bubble. The idea of trying to make life easy, with the two cars in the garage, 2.5 kids, the swing in the back yard, and the 9 to 5 job is not a great enough goal. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with having those things — I even happen to have some of them now (except for the two cars… and we’ve rounded up on the kids).
For life to make sense, especially in the hard times, there must be a bigger purpose to it all. For us, Mostar is a calling of sorts. We were working to have an impact on college students in Sarajevo, and now we’ve taken that calling to a new city. In our new city, there’s much less glamor, less prestige, fewer distinguished foreigners, less name recognition.
But there are still people. And those people are every bit as important, every bit as honorable and worthy as people anywhere else. And there are still teenagers and students who need the things that we do. They need someone looking out for them, someone who will share life with them, love them, and encourage them to become the person they were created to be.
We don’t know all the reasons why we came here, but we know that there is a bigger purpose in being here. And that’s what keeps us going, especially in the times when life ceases to make sense. Part of that bigger purpose is to help us understand one overarching idea about life: that it isn’t ultimately about us.