"Thanks and thanks again to Him who offers to the man whom the sorrows of life have assaulted and left naked–offers to him the fig leaf of the Word with which he can cover his wretchedness." -Søren Kierkegaard

Year One: Some Things I Learned

Posted in Day-To-Day by matt on Friday, March 13, 2009

This is a short list of the things I’ve learned since I got to Thailand. Or maybe a more accurate statement would be that these are the things I’ve realized that I’ve learned over the past year. I’m pretty sure I still haven’t learned everything that I’ve learned, if that makes any sense.

-In Thailand (and pretty much everywhere not Western) you’ve really gotta go with the flow. As a wise man once told me, “Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.” I’ve found this to be frustratingly true.

-The Kingdom is emerging around every corner. Find it, help usher it in, live for it. People don’t bring God places, they simply go there and point Him out. True, people must go and Christ must be preached, but that doesn’t mean the Gospel message is dependent on me. God’s been working before I ever showed up. I join in that, I don’t conjure it up.

-The spicier the food, the more flavor it has. The chillies that once ravaged my virgin taste buds are now my favorite addition to meals. Pfffff…jalapeños are for toddlers.

-Tonal languages are hard intensely difficult. Period.

-God’s plan to redeem the world is…well, world-wide. It’s global. And it’s one thing to hear it, but  to experience that in a tangible way is another thing entirely. I’m an eternally grateful pawn.

-Marriage is awesome. I’m only a couple months in, but I’ve already learned so much and grown in so many new ways. I’m so grateful to have such a fantastic wife, and I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with her.

-I’ve learned that I like travelling in different forms. Sometimes I like taking off with Jon hitchhiking and sleeping in people’s yards or in Buddhist pagodas, but other times it’s nice to schedule your trip down to the last detail and then enjoy a relaxing trip somewhere. One’s a little crazy and the other’s neat and orderly, but both can be really fun.

-In the midst of a massive, impersonal city God has provided a community that has blessed both Cayla and myself. We love the body we’re a part of, and this community has become a big reason why we want to stay another year. This just points me back to the second point about the Kingdom being all over the place; God’s got people in all kinds of places.

So those are just a few things. I think it’s good to keep track of progress, otherwise I’ll get bogged down and forget all the good things that are happening. So thanks for keeping track with me!

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