I burn things…like a lot. Eggs, sweet potato fries, apple pie-all of it. I mean, I JUST set off the fire alarms in my apartment cooking dinner. My poor neighbors don’t even bother coming over to check on me anymore because it’s a weekly occurrence. And to be honest, I usually blame the hand-me-down 1987 ovens that seem to be stocked in every apartment I live in, but let’s call it what it is-I’m a terrible cook. The real reason I burn things is because I’m incredibly impatient. I turn up the heat in hopes that things will get to the finish line faster. That impatience extends to my desire to land an assignment in one of the most breath-taking pieces of United States territory there is: Alaska.
It’s no secret to those who have stood alongside me from the beginning of this journey that a summer in Alaska has been my #1 since day #1. Over time, my dreams have morphed into a constant reel of theoretical eight-seater plane rides over Denali, stolen glimpses of the northern lights and kayaking among the glaciers. For me, the 49th state is the Mecca of travel assignments.
Luckily, I had a chance to visit in November of last year. Each day brought with it fresh layers of snow and a slow rising sun that seemed to set as soon as it rose. I had traveled up to Alaska to visit a friend in Anchorage and although it wasn’t prime Alaska visiting time, my desire to experience the state for myself did not waver. If anything, the inability to fully explore all that Alaska has to offer only stoked the fire to be there even more. Having only a little taste of the beautiful state stirred within me the emotion I mentioned earlier and one that I think we all struggle with more often than we care to admit: impatience.
We all know that nagging feeling when we desperately want something that we think and know is good but for whatever reason (timing, money, circumstance etc.) we can’t have it-it’s incredibly frustrating. Where I am placed to travel can be explained using simple economics: supply and demand. Because my specialty is so precise (hematology/oncology), my travel options are even more limited which can be disheartening. This is why I haven’t been able to call Alaska my temporary home yet. But, one thing that the Lord has taught me throughout this process is the gift of seasons. How does that verse go,
” To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.” -Ecclesiastes 3:1
Sometimes my head gets so wrapped up in an idea that I’ve romanticized in my heart that I forget to focus on the very season of life that I’m in. In the grand scheme of things, not being where I think I want to be at this very minute is a mute point in comparison to the opportunities I’ve been given. I am here (wherever here happens to be at the time), and it’s my responsibility to make this hour, minute, second count. No one will do it for me, it’s up to me. So, I am learning the art of patience and my Heavenly Father loves to test it every single day. I’m also learning to take each day, 24 hours at a time. I’m learning not to dwell on the past nor daydream about the future. I know that one day I’ll make it back to Alaska but for today, I’m okay with where I am-even if it is in a smokey apartment eating burnt parmesan chicken.
Happy Travels (stay tuned for more details on my next REAL Alaskan adventure!),
Ragan & Danko