I got back from a visit to Germany last Saturday. I spent a week with my brother and his family and, while I was there, saw some of France and Switzerland. This is a picture taken from Interlaken, Switzerland in the heart of the Swiss Alps. Amazing place!
As we traveled around a small section of Europe in his Ford Focus, my brother and I had a chance to talk about many things. We talked about serious things, funny things, and nonsensical things. I enjoyed it all tremendously. When we would arrive at our destination for the day, we would talk about what we wanted to do. My brother would then calculate in his mind the words he would need to be able to communicate it in the local language and within the boundaries of the local culture. For example, apparently in the part of France we visited, it is rude to assume someone does not know English. If your French is weak, it is appropriate to ask if they know English. BUT, it you don’t try the local language and ask, in French or German, if they speak English, that is also slightly rude. Whew! That’s a lot to remember.
I know I always to go the big picture with these things, but it got me thinking again. I live in this world but I am not of it. I work hard at knowing the language of the world around me, but I am asked not to speak it. God has asked me to speak a language that reflects my true home, His Kingdom. He has asked me not to complain, a common dialect of the world. He has asked me not to slander or gossip or insult with my language. Whew! That’s hard!! The customs of the culture I live in dictate that I use language to build myself up, even at another’s expense. But my Homeland asks the opposite. I am asked to use words to build others up and to humble myself.
I love traveling and seeing other places in the world. It truly is one of my favorite things. It teaches me more about my own culture (good and bad) and allows me to see the “sameness” of people. We all need family. We all want joy. We all love our children and enjoy celebrations. We all need a Savior because we all experience pain and shame. And so, I want to be a missionary of sorts to the dying world around me. My brother is bringing Christ to Europe through technology. It’s very cool. I want to bring Christ to Savannah, GA through counseling. Whatever the means, Christ comes through relationships, something else we all need.
I pray that whether God takes you to Europe, or Africa, or America that you would bring His Life with you as we face a culture that resists Him. May we reflect our true Home instead of becoming caught up in this world’s culture. Shine the light, baby, shine the light:).