Sunday, June 21, 2009

Do Hard Things - That first scary step

Yesterday, I read about "That first scary step".
I'm just going to write down the parts that I underlined.

"If we take a step despite feeling uncomfortable, afraid , or inadequate, our comfort zones expand. We grow in strength and skill. What we consider normal for us changes, sometimes radically."

I've been working in a Japanese company for two years now and normally, we would have Japanese managers. I've studied Japanese now for more than two years and am studying for the next level and by God's grace, pass the exam this December for the JLPT level 2. You'd think that that's really quite an achievement. Well, Praise God for that. You'd think that someone with that proficiency could muster up a "ohayou gozaimasu" or "konnichiwa" when the Japanese President or any Japanese manager would pass by me on the hallway. Well, for the life of me, up until now, I find it really hard. The book put it so well - it was uncomfortable, greeting them didn't seem to be of basic requirement, it's scary - perhaps irrational fear. If you look at it, hey even if I look at it, that's really something really easy to overcome. I remember one lunch time I was struck with inspiration and courage and piped up to my friend and lunch mate that we were going to make a "plan". Something that targeted more respect towards our Japanese bosses, because we noticed, it wasn't easy for most people to speak to them. For me, its so awkward to be in that atmosphere. And I don't think that I could be a blessing to them if we couldn't even greet them! Sure they probably don't mind that and we all just ignore each other. But the first step and it was essential to the "plan", was to be able to "greet" them. So the next day at lunch again, we found out that our plan was harder than we expected. For some reason, we couldn't muster up the "konnichiwa's". One of the people in the "plan" was able to greet them (many of them) on the note that they all passed her desk when they came in for work, and that she was part of the general affairs department. With that said, it's even more frustrating knowing it can be done but we just can't seem to consistently and properly do it.

This narrative is such a small matter but I understand now that it has a lot to do with being uncomfortable and fear. I was challenged when the twins, Alex, and Brett wrote:
"You can't live by fear and faith at the same time." Then they pointed out 2 Timothy 1:7 "God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but the spirit of power, of love, and self-discipline."

Something in me has got to change. And perhaps such a small step out of my comfort zone will lead to bigger triumphs for God.

I am continually encouraged as they write, "What we're really saying is that we don't want to do things that don't come easily or naturally. We don't want to break through our fears. And by our actions, we're also saying that God isn't good and powerful enough to help us do what we can't comfortably do on our own. And that's a lie the Enemy loves!"

After that and the list enumerated after gave me second thoughts. I've always known that my God was all powerful, creator of the heavens and the earth. Yet I never acknowledged that in things like these. I'm glad they pointed that out. And you know what makes me even happier? It's that God uses my weaknesses so that He will be glorified when I depend on the strength He gives me and not my own.

Right now, I haven't a faintest idea how to go about it, or how God will work things out from this realization. I do know though that I might fail a couple of times to muster up this courage, but I will be able to do it, with His strength.

"It turns out that God loves to take stammering boys and shy girls and use them to change lives for eternity. And it's not about feeling strong; it's about obeying God.
Even when you're afraid."

Thanks a lot Alex and Brett. God bless you and your family for being an instrument in many of our lives. In my life. I will definitely read on.

I finally said it. That's 1 audible konnichiwa and counting... (^_^) Praise God!
hi ste :)

i think your post makes good material for nihongo no supichi ;)

by the way, i was encouraged by what you said at lunch time today about doing hard things. speaking to people i don't know or people whom i think are intimidating has always been hard for me. what more when trying to speak to people using a foreign language. i've been toying with the idea of making a nihongo no supichi about some of the topics i'm interested in (learning, little miracles, reading). maybe i'll give it a shot sometime. :)

just passing by...

- b
waw, I'm glad this became an encouragement to you 'Anonymous' (^_^). It's going to be a great challenge and even if any of us fails, its always worth the attempt. We never lose from trying. :D
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