Last week in preparation for in for a meeting I was reading our language learning manual. These words stuck out to me…
“We understand CLA (culture and language learning) as a process of becoming someone who we currently are not in order to be useful servants of the Lord in a new context. This time is much more than learning how to say something, we are learning how to be something. Think of the example of our Lord Jesus Christ: through His incarnation, He so identified Himself with man, that it was later said of Him that He could actually “…sympathize with our weaknesses…”! CLA really is a process of deep change in our lives”
This put the struggle that we face day to day in words. Language learning is hard and takes a lot of toll on your mind and body, but what is harder is the battle we fight to be willing to change. We have to be willing to let go of our culture and grasp a new culture. We do this so that we can become relevant to the people we serve. The more we are willing to let go, the more effective we will be in ministry…but it is hard work. It is difficult to leave yourself in the Porter’s hands and to be willing to be shaped into a new pot.
Can we let go of…
- – Having turkey at Thanksgiving
- – Our comforts (the more we lose the more I find myself clinging on to the ones I have…can I let go of even those?)
- – My desire to be on time (which of course doesn’t matter here)
- – The way we handle conflict
- – The mode we use for worship
- – Our “right” to privacy
- and I could go on…
The more we are willing to let go of, the more we become at home here and more importantly the more effective our ministry will be. However in all honesty it is a daily battle. Satan would like us to hang on to what is familiar. My daily prayer is that each day, God will continue to give us the strength to be willing to be change.