Thursday, November 19, 2009
A time to share
So, it has been quite an amazing time so far in Korea. Everything has gone by so quickly. The feeling of contentment that results is astounding, and sometimes causes me to forget to breathe.
I was born into privilege. I am American. I don’t mean this in an ethnocentric way. I was born. I did nothing. I did not choose to be born in Colorado. Here I am, in another country living a great life. I was born. I speak English fluently. I did not choose to speak English fluently. Here I am, in another country living a great life. I was born in America and had access to higher education. My teachers were good enough to persuade me to go to college. So here I am, teaching a language that is my native tongue, easy. I did nothing and here I am, in S. Korea living an amazing life. It blows my mind. I am not proud of this; I was simply born.
The students in my classroom were born as well. Simply born, simply born. But they were born into some privilege as well. Their parents work every day and spend their hard earned money on paying my paycheck. Not only do my students go to public school, but the Academy I teach at as well. And its not cheep. Some students realize the potential of their life, the privilege they have access to. Others do not. Language is the easiest thing to take for granted, if you speak English. My life will be open doors compared to the fish markets, super malls, or cell phone stores that await most people on this broken planet.
English: nouns, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, abbreviations, possessive pronouns, privilege. I did nothing; I was simply born.
What about the beggar I pass on my way to church? He can barely speak Korean let alone English! He has one arm and looks up at me, the white way-gook (foreigner). I would give half my salary to know what he thinks when he sees me. His days are simple. “Sit at the corner, show my wound, and wait for money.” My reaction is simple, walk past and stop thinking about him. But does he stop thinking about me? This question can keep me up all night. Would it be worse if he knew I was on my way to church? What about the guy with no legs? It is easier to blame someone for their mistakes. Surely, someone is to blame for them being reduced to begging, but it brings no peace to my mind. Maybe I can blame them. They screwed up their lives, right? No, this doesn’t help either. Broken world. Broken people. And I still walk past, on my way to the solution that they will never know.
Its getting heavy. What I mean is, Figuring out what my purpose is in Korea. Being out of the believer bubble of CSU is quite challenging. I have made amazing friends at the church I go to, but it is nothing like living with four other guys who encouraged me spiritually on a daily basis like when I lived at the Myrtle house. However, I would not trade this experience to live there again. Being on my own has created a deep level of contentment with where I am in life that could not have been realized if I had not come to Korea. I am also guilty of leaning on others too much for the fuel of my faith. In Korea, I am only around Christians on the weekends. Considering how I was around a believer every waking moment at CSU, this has an interesting test to where I find my strength. Guess what? I don't have any! This realization has helped me understand how wonderful that day was when Jesus made it possible for me to go to the Father for strength.
Overall, this has been an amazing experience and I believe that God has me exactly where he wants me. This was not easy to except at first, but it is impossible not to acknowledge how God prepared the way for me before I got here. He blesses me daily. Please keep praying for me as I continue to be an ambassador of Christ at my work place.