Well, here I am almost finishing my first full-week in integration course.... It´s been an "auf und ab"(up and down) time for me.
Last week on Saturday my church had this thing called "Frauen Tag" - day for women. It´s like a full-day conference with seminars on different topics relating to women, complete with a lunch and dinner. It was really nice to see the men serving the food and taking care of all the logistics while the women have one full day of pampering. This is such a good thing for housewives who have to stay at home with kids all day. The husbands would take care of the children for one entire day to free up time for their wives to enjoy God and to enjoy being made a women.
There was even a free head-and-neck massage but I didn´t go for it since I didn´t want to stand in line. The entire day turned out pretty nice, cos I met this lady, Julia that I got to know 2 yrs ago when I was in Germany and she introduced me to 2 of her friends. These girls are basically the first few girls I know in Germany around the same age as me. One of them got married to a guy from Venezuela recently and like me, he has to go for the integration course even though he would have very much preferred to go for the intensive course in the other school.
I really felt that God was telling me to "Submit to the government authorities in Germany" - This is really humbling for me, cause I never had to taste what its like to "submit to government"... and of course I didn´t have a lot of problem with that in Singapore, since I didn´t have to do national service like the guys or stuff like that. So, yup, I decided that I should go for integration course and came Monday, I happily paid my course fees - filled with a great sense of expectation of what God has in store for me.
Well, came Monday and I was struck with a second blow. I realized that the class is way too slow. We have 3 entire books to finish in 6 months before we take our exam at the end of February 2007. That leaves us with 2 months to finish 1 book, if not we would be faced with the situation when the teacher would have to hurry like crazy later and the german is basically going to get harder with the second and third book. As it is, I was supposed to start with the second book since I started in the 3rd month. As of today, the teacher is still doing the second book and at the rate she´s going, she´s not going to be done until end of next week - earliest.
Yup, so I´m in a situation where I voluntarily started in the 3rd instead of 4th month and the teacher is slower than expected - so I would have not 1 but 1.5 months (out of 4 months) of doing stuff that I have already learnt. Of course I was frustrated. Cos I felt that if the school is slow, why should I have to pay to learn stuff that I already knew? I was emptying my frustrations to Cecilia over the phone yesterday and I said the difference between me and a teacher is that a teacher gets paid to teach, whereas I pay the school to teach other students. Yup! Cos the fact of the matter is that I AM teaching other students, cos I finish my stuff so early that I have nothing to do, so I just help other students who are still struggling with the names of furniture, past tense etc.....
I really had to struggle with it again and of course I keep asking God why? Why am I stuck in a rut? And God spoke to me again today........
"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God" 1 Cor 10:31 "God´s glory must be the point of everything we do.
The bestsellers in Christian bookshops are those that tell us how to make our lives more satisfying, more enriching. Not that these matters are unimportant, but they are explored in a self-absorbed way that treats our enjoyment of life as more of a priority than anything else. ´Narcissism´says the theologian Jim Packer ´seems to be taking over the modern-day church´
If we do not know what it means to sacrifice self-interest in our lives day by day then in reality we are not living for God´s glory. We must therefore ask ourselves: Whose concerns dictate what I am doing and the way I am living - mine or God´s "
The stuff came from my morning bible reading with God. I was stunned. It became so clear to me that God wants to humble me and sacrifice my self-interest (which is to learn all the german I can in the fastest possible way so that I can find a job so that I don´t feel so "useless" in Germany blah...). I need to sacrifice my self-interest if I want to live for God´s glory. And if God requires me to submit to the government at this focal point of my life and if He requires me to take a step back and help other people in their struggles, then I need to allow God to be God in my life. I need to trust that God has His plans for me and He WILL work out His purpose in my life in HIS timing and HIS way.
May I remember all of this even when I feel like I need to pull my hair out in class - Love u God.