Thursday, December 24, 2009

Ég tala Íslensku

Over the past year you have read a few stories about our chronicles of language acquisition. We have mistaken food for a foot, bought a children´s book that was really about a mole trying to find out who s#!t on his head, and told stories in language class about the abundance of sperm that Johnny Appleseed spread through the countryside of middle-America. It has not been a pretty process, but a rewarding one nonetheless. I have never learned to speak another language and at the beginning of the year I didn't really know if it was possible for me to do so. 
It is a strange feeling setting out to accomplish a task that you cannot imagine at the beginning. Imagining yourself speaking a new language is impossible if you have never actually done it. There is a certain level of faith that is exercised at the beginning of the journey, as you cannot yet see the destination that you have in mind. Rest assured there is a land that lies ahead where you will be able to understand what is being said, but there is a long walk before you start to recognize it. After a long walk in the same direction you will begin to see it. Somewhere during the past year I arrived in a land where the words I was seeing and hearing made sense. I do not know exactly when it was, but after a lot of walking I began to believe there would be a day when I could express myself and be understood. 

I still have miles to walk before I will be satisfied, but in the journey I learned a lesson of Christian discipleship. Walking by faith in Christ begins with the same sort unknowns. The direction and existence of a city other than the one we were born seeing with the physical eye seems impossible to imagine as we start out on the journey. As we take a long walk in the same direction The City of God begins to take shape, and meaning and hope spring from places we would never thought of before. Explaining this to someone who has yet to begin the journey can challenge all our categories of language and leave us speechless. But the city is there before us and we travel on beckoning those still waiting to come and see.

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