Do you have those default activities that you go back to when you’re having a particularly busy, stressful, just very full day? The times or places or spaces that you know will lead you into a quiet space with God, no matter how unlikely it may seem? Going for a walk? Sauntering around the supermarket with headphones in? Driving? Doing the washing up?
Or is that just me?
Well, to be really honest, for the past 18 months, I have found myself studying Japanese and streaming the IHOP-KC prayer room simultaneously when I need to just… relax. With God. For me, finding I met with God whilst studying Japanese was one of the huge indicators and motivators that it was of Him at all. And it’s true. I find the habitual-daily-going-through-vocab, ticking off kanji, rehersing grammar in my head… The combination of those things, to the soundtrack of prayer, somehow works in my multi-tasking brain.
So right now, I have taken a half-hour-hold in my day’s proceedings to do just that. I have come from a hectic morning. I am going into a 4 1/2 hour meeting. And as productive as those things are, and as much as I do really love my job… It is the best thing to sometimes take the time to sit, cup of tea in hand, prayer room playing, Japanese in front on my eyes.
And rest. Just to go into the next phase of the day refreshed.
But it also got me thinking about the way I learn and the way God wired me. Because I am a self-confessed geek. And I do really enjoy studying. And learning. And being immersed in a subject.
Now, before starting Japanese lessons 18 months ago, I had never really been a ‘language’ person. A book person. Yes. A kind-of-nerdy-essay-person. Yes. But a speaking another language person? No. Not at all. My French and German skills in school were passable, not no-where-near outstanding.
But somehow, as I began to learn about the issues facing children and young people in Japan, and as God opened my heart to pray, and then be in touch with charities and NGOs and churches, and then cry and pray over the streets of the country… Somehow the burden of that, and the promise of what could be… It just enabled me to channel some of my geeky nature… Into trying to become a speaking-another-language-person.
A few of my particularly smart and mission hearted friends already speak multiple languages fluently, and a phrase a lot of them use is about their ‘heart language’. Like, they may be able to preach or teach or worship in French, or Spanish, or Mandarin… But their heart language, where they talk to God, is still in English.
And, I guess my prayer, like theirs, is that I will one day have a bilingual heart language.
And so when I study it is through immersion. Through music and worship and singing in Japanese. Through vocab decks and lessons and blogging. Through emailing friends and sitting with a dictionary. And from January it will be through even deeper immersion. Through living with a family who speak little English, and being in class for hours a day, and watching movies and events and socialising… in Japanese. And little by little, step by step, month by month and year by year… I pray that I will keep learning and keep growing. And that the passion and zeal that has been burning in me so far will continue.
And that when I need to pause in the middle of a busy day. It will still be that place. Worship playing, heart burning, mind buzzing… That actually gives me the energy to face what comes next.
Maybe I’m weird.Maybe I’m quirky. Maybe you can relate. But, I sure am glad that God wired us just the way He intended it to be. 🙂
And the words that are playing in the prayer room right now… These are also my prayer…
Cause my heart to burn for You. Cause my heart to yearn for You.
Oh, and here’s the current kanji/vocab I’m trying to fix into my brain!!