Posted May 4th, 2008 by E. Goodman
If you read my last post, you know that after six years, I am moving back to the United States. I’m filled with mixed emotions as I try to sort through what this means for my life and retirement plan. I’ve moved into that pensive, reflective mode; everything I do here may be “the last time.” This may be my last trip to the mountains here, my last coffee with these friends, my last night to be rudely awaken at all hours of the night by the sounds of drunken teenagers on the balcony and and garbage trucks on the street.
As I reflect on all that I’ve learned and on all of the ways I’ve changed, it occurs to me that I’m better at some things than I was when I came. I’m a better conversationalist, for one. For all the hours and hours of hanging out with friends in smoky bars, I can pretty much talk about anything with anyone.
I’ve become a lot more patient. You’ve got to be when navigating the bureaucratic systems of socialist Western Europe. I’m more understanding of the plight of the immigrant for having been one myself. I recycle. I read the newspaper. I frequent mom-and-pop shops (when I can find them) even when there’s a Starbucks next-door.
I’ve grown to be better at spiritual things as well. I can talk about my faith much more naturally than before, and avoid using Christian clichés. In relationships, I’m no longer so overwhelmed by a person’s blatant sin that I cannot love him. I have come to know the maintaining power of ongoing conversational prayer throughout the day. I read my Bible because I’m convinced of my need to hear the gospel (which builds faith), not just because a good missionary ought to. People who think differently than I do don’t seem as ignorant, and people who do things differently don’t seem as wrong. I’m a better citizen, a better friend, and, hopefully, a better example of what it’s like to have life in Christ.
Tags: , Practice makes better, reflecting, transition
Filed under:Christianity, Personal, Reflections, Uncategorized