Reflections on an exciting and terrifying letter04 Sep 2009
This evening I received a letter of nomination from my university supporting my exchange application. My heart is greatly torn at this news. God is not without a sense of irony! Tori and I both pray for a future serving God together, but the process to attaining this is not, it seems, one without pain or difficulty. We anticipate more long months apart, and I face leaving Sydney, its comforts and securities.
In Sydney, there is security in so many things. I trust in family, in friends, in personal and professional networks, in job security and my own abilities. I trust in credit cards, Internet providers, newspapers and mobile phones. All of these things come to nothing, dissolving in the face of studying a language so radically different from my own first language. Yet, were I to achieve any degree of comfortableness in this language, at least some of the things in which I falsely find security would, without sound reason, assume that position of trust in my life once more.
The one true thing to trust in is common to all languages, all people, and every place on earth. There’s just one sure and certain hope that is unfailing. When every thing and person on earth gives way, Jesus alone is our hope and stay. (So thankful to God for Tori’s reminder of that in the midst of my freaking out about all of this tonight – you are a wise and godly woman Tori!)
Business strategy, internet development, and the exciting insanity of startup work in an amazing industry with the best colleagues will transform into, near-exclusively, the well-trodden path of laborious language study, learning through humbling failure and the necessity of constant correction by even the closest of friends. Yet language learning opens doors, communicates truths, and, similarly to the insanity of startups, is spurred along by necessity and an urgent need for improvement.
For my part, I’m learning to trust God more and having the false objects of my hope called out in front of me by even the suggestion of having to leave them behind. It’s funny, because I thought I’d thought about this — I guess as things become concrete problems get harder to ignore! Strangely, the things I had thought will be difficult to let go and live without – a car, a great IT setup, books, purchasing power due to constrained exchange budget, etc. – hadn’t even come up in my mind yet (though they may later).
Perhaps the issue for me is less materialism, as I had thought, and more pride and an overdependence on the things that don’t satisfy and give life to the full! The absurdity of this situation is perhaps best encapsulated in the observation that I am torn at the spectacular breadth, depth and width of opportunities provided. It is ridiculous to think that I, such a mediocre student, should be given the chance to study at a top-5 university as well as the remarkably well-regarded University of Sydney. The ridiculousness of this is, perhaps, only surpassed by the fact that I then proceed to complain about it!
And both these privileges are like rubbish compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing the Lord Jesus Christ – this is the most absurd opportunity of all. To be loved by the Creator, whose creation (of which I am part) destroyed Him, though death could not hold Him down, such that death promises eternal life through Christ’s victory: it is beyond comprehension! æ„Ÿè°¢ä¸»ï¼