Thursday, October 22, 2015

Focus Friday: Let's Focus on Language

This week I'm writing my blog on my iPad mini in Germany. I've been thinking an awful lot about language during our time here. Of course, we've been hearing tons of German, but as we have visited different places there have been tourists from all over. I love languages, so it has been fun for me to try to figure out what people are speaking. 

I wish I could speak more German. I started to study it a couple of months before we came here, but I didn't get very far. I can say "I drink milk" and "He is strong." Unfortunately, I don't need to say those things very much. Instead, I should have concentrated on signs and warnings.

"Kein Winterdienst. Bei Schnee und Eis. Benutzung auf eigene Gefahr." 

We saw those words on a sign on an old castle before we started to climb a tower early in our trip. No idea what it meant. We climbed anyway. We have observed similar signs all over in our travels. We look, we shrug, and we move on. We figure someone will either yell at us or rescue us if we are doing something wrong. 

We've been lucky. In most places, people speak "a little bit" of English. It's usually much more than a little bit. We're grateful. I can't help but wonder about people who dare to travel who speak a language that is less common. They must feel so confused and frustrated at times.

I have lots of little examples that show my language problems, but for now I'll just share something kind of funny. After we asked directions from a guard at a castle, I said "gracias" as we left him. A couple of other times I've said "Si'" instead of yes. Since I know Spanish so well, I think my brain defaults to that if I'm not concentrating.

All of this foreign language stuff has me thinking about how we communicate with God. We speak to Him in the language that feels most comfortable to us. That makes sense, doesn't it? I wouldn't try to speak to Him in German (although I could say "You are strong."). I speak to Him in the language I know best. English.

But what language does God speak? Hebrew? Greek? Every language? We just don't know, do we? What we do know is that He understands us and loves us completely. He'll never throw up His hands in frustration or ignore us because He doesn't want to deal with our feeble attempts at communication (Yes, I had a lady do this to me in a park. She just kept walking.). 

Danke, Gott . (Thanks, God.)

 "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spurit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans." (Romans 8:26 NIV)

 Have you ever had a problem with another language? How can focusing on God help you communicate with Him perfectly wherever you are? 

(Now I have to go see if I can schedule this to publish  on Friday since blogger is all in German on my iPad!)

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