Tico Time in Jaco Beach is real after 7 & ¾ weeks in Costa Rica. Part of living in Costa Rica is becoming acquainted with “Tico Time,” which is essentially no different than scheduling with a millennial in the U.S. For example, if someone says, “I’m on way,” five minutes before our appointment, I know they haven’t left their house yet.
In fact, as I get on tico time in Jaco Beach, Costa Rica, my biggest issue is coming up with a better excuse for my tardiness. “I ran into traffic,” isn’t a very good excuse when you ain’t got a car.
Lately though, I haven’t reached for excuses, as a couple of death’s in the family, my grief, and an impromptu visa run back home provide loads of legitimate reasons for me to lose track of time. In the face of what God is showing me, my planned visa runs appear silly.
Tico Time in Jaco Beach, Costa Rica
During my first month, which was full of discomfort and adjustments, I found a few things in my baggage that didn’t belong—turns out pants are unwearable here. Still, what’s more apparently out of place than pants are my old hurts, wounds, and coping mechanisms preventing me from resting and rooting in God’s truth amidst big changes.
On my visa run home, around loads of family, God revealed old memories, some beautiful and others painful. Sources of hurts and frustrations were made evident to me, and, as I settle back into life here, I dig into some of what God is showing me. Turns out that takes some time and attention. But the fruits are evident.
So much so, I get Ps. 42 a little differently now, for in a dream this week I saw an injured doe. As I approached the doe, I saw a hole in its side, so I drew closer to help. That’s when I noticed whatever pierced the doe was flying out the other side. At this, I stuck out my hand to comfort the baby deer.
Losing My Religion
However, the doe shrunk away as if it were once beaten and abused by a man. Despite the lack of blood, it didn’t run away; instead it stayed where it was, and turned its face away, at which point I sensed that doe was me.
Somewhat disturbed, I woke up and asked God and myself what the heck it all meant. Immediately, the word “innocence” popped into my mind. The narrative then unfurled. Like the doe, my injured innocence was pierced, but whatever actually hurt me is gone. In the same way, the memories of old hurts are not the hurt itself. And when God’s hand approach, I sense God’s invitation to accept his grace and comfort. So often I don’t feel at ease resting in God’s love.
Now, on a different, albeit related note, if religion is man’s attempt to reach God, or, said another way, to become Holy and set apart, then it’s clear I’m unpacking and leaving that pursuit behind. For, when I look at myself as trying to “become holy,” there is no time to talk about wounds. Moreover, there is zero space to admit I tried coping with them on my own. This would be an admonition of how unholy I am. In this mindset and belief system, how can you rest in God’s love? You must work and be better.
Losing Track of Time
But thankfully, in Jesus’ view, righteousness is established by a love that pursues man. Jesus reveals a God who pursues man or a “Holiness” that invites. Although a mystery to me, God’s grace calls me—a wounded doe who wants nothing to do with healing—its own. God says he lives inside me, where my needs to belong and be loved were maimed. God says He is enough for me, even in the darkest places, driest places.
To this God and this righteousness, I can surrender my wounds and present them. It’s okay if I’m on tico time. I’m allowing the emotional whirlwind and grief of the last couple weeks to fuel vulnerability and tears. I can present honest confessions to a few trusted men. I receive grace from them, from myself, and from God. And I accept myself as firmly in the process.