10 December, 2009

Epiphany 2.0

Yesterday I had a nice long chat with my pastor and his wife about Wycliffe Bible Translators. It was humbling and effective. I wanted to hear that I was perfect for the role and should continue in my happy way, but they probed deeper than I thought and shone light on potential problems I'd not anticipated.

Today I realized I needed to take my mind off the trivial stresses I'm currently experiencing and realize there is something beyond me that I cannot fix because Jesus is the only One who can. Rather than watching Batman Begins again, I read Called To Die by Steve Estes. It's a biography of Chet Bitterman, a linguist who worked for Wycliffe and died because of his work translating the Bible. I'm on page 116, and the thought hit me; Can I be motivated for work as a Wycliffe linguist? Jeff and Jo Smothermom (whose stories I was reading) were translating when asked to serve WBT in supportive roles. They hesitated because of their passion for the people for whom they worked. I'd be happy to serve, but could I serve as wholeheartedly and specifically as they? My pastor asked me why I wanted to translate, and the answer I gave was "so I could glorify God and enjoy him forever." Not incorrect, but way too prescripted. I am not motivated to study and fundraise for months before knowing the people for whom I'd be translating.

Dear God, please give me patience on this journey. Give me faces to identify, souls to reach, a culture to learn and a community to become part of so that I may glorify you and, with the help of the Spirit, to illumine the Scriptures to those unreached.


Lisa said...

I'm glad you were asked hard questions before diving into something that you may have been ill prepared to face. I've had humbling moments like that before.

In fact, a few weeks ago, I asked Jen K. if I could come over and watch her do hair on an evening when she had a lot of appointments because this has always been on my mind: to possibly be a hairdresser. Well, I left there thinking, "I really don't think I could be on my feet all day and be constantly going from customer to customer and worrying about doing a perfect job and getting it done on time so that I have time for all my appointments." It seemed more stressful than what I assumed. The life of a hair dresser really hasn't seemed as attractive since that evening.

I'm so glad I'm teaching my pre-schoolers! I think I'll stick to what I know for a while. I may not make much money, but I DO love it!

Just keep praying for wisdom and guidance and do like your doing; asking for input. God will lead you!

samurai said...

Praying for God's leading and grace in your life as you go forward on this path.


Author at 661 said...


in faith,
your friend.

Laedelas Greenleaf said...

Lis~ Your preschoolers are glad that you teach, too :-)

Samurai~ Thanks for the prayers!

Elena~ Amen!

John Q said...


I am continuing to pray for your clear sight and faith to discern the next step...and then to take it!

You wrote: "My pastor asked me why I wanted to translate, and the answer I gave was "so I could glorify God and enjoy him forever." Not incorrect, but way too prescripted."

As you said your answer was correct. But in wisdom, you saw that you might be merely stating the response that you thought was correct and also what might have been expected of you. CS Lewis once wrote about his love for his wife. As she was dying, he somewhat sarcastically questioned the truth and depth of his love for her: "I talk of love; a scholar's parrot may talk Greek." ("As the Ruin Falls" - http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/as-the-ruin-falls-2/ ). It gives your father (and I suspect your Father) great joy to hear that you are looking deeper to see if your answer is truly in your heart or merely on your lips. That is wisdom! (Proverbs 10:1 and Proverbs 15:20)

I am glad that you are reassessing; not necessarily because you need to go a different way, but that you are considering counsel.

"Where there is no guidance, a people falls,but in an abundance of counselors there is safety." - Proverbs 11:14

"Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed." - Proverbs 15:22

It is good to seek to serve others, but unless the ultimate goal is joyful service to God in His grace, there can be great emptiness in serving. Trust me; I know!

Your decision to read about the life of a martyr rather than watch a movie about a fictional "hero" reveals much wisdom. It also reveals your heart. In such seemingly small choices, we follow the path of God.

You wrote: "I am not motivated to study and fundraise for months before knowing the people for whom I'd be translating." I do understand. But the anchor that will hold you through the struggle now and the struggles to come is your decision to joyfully serve God by His grace. It is for the people, and ultimately for Him that you would be translating! Love the people and make Him your primary motivation and your great reward. This mindset/heartset will equip you well for many, many, many situations; whether in translating, marriage, raising children, serving a gathering of believers, etc.

Seek God's will and be assured that God's plan will not be thwarted. Rejoice in this!

"Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand." - Proverbs 19:21

I love you Shanny!


Laedelas Greenleaf said...

I love you, Dad! That's a great poem. Thanks for the encouragement! Can't wait to see you soon!