Friday, May 17, 2013

Guatemalan Growth

Adios Honduras…and hello again! It was a quick 3 weeks, but after years of scraping by with sub-par (at best) Spanish, I was blessed with the opportunity to spend some time in Antigua, Guatemala purging poor speaking habits, developing some sense of grammatical consistency/correctness, and expanding my limited vocabulary…it's still limited, just not AS limited (shouldn't have tried reading my Spanish/English dictionary :/ ). Anyways, needless to say, I am extremely grateful for the time I had to study in the beautiful Antigua.

As you might have gathered from the title of this post, besides the possibility of me having spent some time in Guatemala, is that I've leaned a few things about growing. Physical growth? Not quite (although I'm still holding out hope for one more growth spurt--still trying to dunk some day, but don't quite have the vertical leap of my older brother…but that might be a good thing seeing as how I don't need more reason to stick out in Central America…half Japanese and already taller than most...I digress…) Human person growth is what I'm referring to. And I know it seems like a pretty general, boring, cliche topic, but for me it's been somewhat of a revelation, or more simply a realization and/or recognition of the reality that rests before me--real, authentic growth is gradual and gruesome, persistent and persevering, boring and well…really boring (alliteration not necessary, but just trying to keep you interested). Has it become an actuality for me? Do I practice what I preach? Quite honestly, no. But am I trying? I sure as hell hope so…I wasn't planning on being here for 2 years just to have an 'experience' or to feel good about myself…I've come to learn, to serve, to grow…

All of this became evident through my studies. After just 3 weeks I am certainly no maestro de espanol, but I do find comfort in the fact that it can only get better--don't have much of a choice in that regard. My spanish will not grow overnight,  but I do have to use it and not be ashamed of it, which can be really difficult. It's going to require active participation on my part. There's still a lot I don't understand, but if I persevere and do what I need to do, then in time I will have a greater comfort with the language. This has easily been the hardest lesson to learn thus far…I want to run before I can crawl, I want to reach for something that's not quite there…yet.

The funny thing about faith is that the more one grows in it, the smaller one becomes. At least I'm pretty sure that's the idea…the more faith we have in Him, the more we come to rely upon Him, all the more He is glorified…more of Him, less of me. Why is this so hard to learn? Will that actually bring us any joy or fulfillment? Well, I don't have the answers, but I can say, in my experience as a human, that my tendency is to find my niche and then settle. Once I find a place where I feel I'm useful, where I'm a productive, contributing member of society, I get lazy. I then forget that I'm still capable of growth. I get so comfortable that I can't, or rather don't want to recognize that something greater still exists. What's even more difficult for me, is even when I have the desire to grow, I often forget that that desire alone does not eliminate growing pains...I'd much prefer (like most I believe) to skip the part where I know everything I need to know so I can further fulfill my purpose and God's plan for my life. That's just not how it works, at least not in most cases. But regardless of where we're at-spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically-God meets us where we're at and wants us to for me being here in a third world country, it's easy for me to think that I'm doing something good, that I'm 'growing' without having to think about it much. But that's the thing, if that's what I settle for, then this will just be 2 years of "good experience." 

It's getting late and I really wanted to get something out today, so more on this in the next post (and maybe some pics)...thanks for reading and following! Dios les Bendiga!

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