Four more weeks and Amy and I will be completely fluent in the Indonesian language, we're actually already so awesome only the well trained ear is able to discern us from our Indonesian neighbours and friends.
Yes, I'm joking. BUT! I will say this: I am proficient enough in Bahasa Indonesia to explain to someone that I didn't understand 1/2 of what they just said to me. Not bad. Or as a plan "B" alternative, I now have enough cultural street smarts to know when smiling and nodding my head will just make it easier for everyone involved. It truly is a learned skill to function in a world where bits and pieces of what is said to you constantly fly right over your head. (Maybe the hundreds of hours back in my youth standing in front of a big guitar amp numbing my eardrums has something to do with it. My Mom would say: "Ben! don't forget to wear ear plugs! I would respond: "Huh?")
Occasionally, there are those special moments when the planets align, and I seem to understand a conversation, and - that's not all! - I even know how to respond in a understandable fashion. Amazing.
No seriously, that is quite amazing for a guy who came from a proud generational heritage of flunking out of French in High-school. This includes: 1. Dad (Post World War 2, but before the cuban missile crisis) 2. My brother Jordan. 3. Me.
The fact alone that I - of all people - would spend a year of my life learning another language (and like doing it) reflects a wee bit of the character of God who has brought us gently along for ten years, to the place our family is right now. A God who can break pride, use the linguistically challenged - in a linguistic manner, and, let's not ignore the situational humour of it all. My lovely French teacher whom is now with Christ, and whom once even had to threaten to expel me from high-school (due my less that stellar behaviour...I blame my parents), deservedly would have (or is having) a good chuckle about my current language acquisition sitcom. Although, I know she'd heap nothing but encouraging words upon me...between fits of laughter.
I now know way more Indonesian than I ever new French!
The truth is, God uses us in our weakness. The bible is full of examples. It keeps our heads from puffing up and becoming clouded from the reality of who really is doing what. If I was awesome at language, I know myself, inside I might just become more and more impressed at how awesome I was, until I was constantly bathing in my own awesomeness. When the truth is - I am now, and always will be: needy and weak, alone and hopeless - without my Creator. But with Him it is so different! How cool it is that it is really the power of God that accomplishes good through us. It really takes a load off our shoulders. Jesus is no burden, the yoke of Christ is actually light. He's covered our sin with His blood, and promised Himself to us, forever. By ourselves we are weak and prone to fail. With Him we are unbreakable.
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness" Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
2nd Corinthians 12:9 (esv)