Ashamed?

(Or pride, or fear)

In a brief conversation with some national friends yesterday, I realized that it is hard to step into the unknown – or should I say the untried.  I have lived here long enough to know the language and many of their traditions.  I still make mistakes in language, probably always will.  But there are some things in their culture that I understand but don’t do myself.  They are so different from my culture, they are actions, sounds, phrases, etc.… that I have never tried because I am afraid of making a mistake. 

   There I said it, “I am afraid/ashamed.”  What if I say it incorrectly? What if the sound is not right? What if I don’t do that action exactly right?  They will laugh at me, of this I’m sure.  But I also know there are different types of being laughed at.  Sometimes people laugh at your mistake but they are not judging you, they are actually happy that you’ve tried. 

   Yet, I’m afraid to try. I’m afraid of looking silly. I’m uncomfortable of doing this myself, although I’m totally fine if they do it.  I may even encourage my visitors to try it when they are here, but I am reserved.  Even at home there are things that I won’t try, I’m conservative/reserved/afraid/ashamed/uncomfortable/ or in truth maybe it’s all just PRIDE.

   So the perfectionist in my wants to master the language in my head and in books before trying to speak.  Yet the purpose of my being here is to serve, to love, to show Christ. So I need to humble myself, I need to try.