Friday, January 25, 2013

Threading a Needle at 100MPH

One of my husband's favourite things to do is drive.
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And one of his favourite things to do in Germany is drive on the Autobahn. No speed limits and good roads!
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One of my favourite things to do on a road trip is to get a little stitching accomplished whilst visiting with German.

Over the Christmas holidays, was the first chance we had to do some serious driving. I took along a small ornament to work on in the car. No colour changes and simple design means I can work in the car without issue. And all went well. Until I needed to thread the needle with a new string.

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Threading a needle whilst traveling 100+ MPH down the autobahn is....well nearly impossible. I did get it threaded, but with great difficulty. It actually became more enjoyable to just lay down the stitching and enjoy the drive.

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I've come to consider that adjusting to life in a country where you do no speak the language is very much like threading a needle at 100MPH. Threading a needle is a common task. Just about anyone can do it. But the speed causes a "translation problem" and the simple becomes difficult.

So much of our life the last four month has been made up of the same mundane tasks that have always been a part of life. Laundry. Cooking. Getting from Point A to Point B. Setting up Appointments. But, as with any move, a new place means one must accelerate the performance of tasks. I need to find out how and where to accomplish those tasks whilst at the same time making my family's life seem to flow seamlessly.
We want ham for Christmas--must find out which butcher, how to ask for it, how much lead time to order it--in order to make it seamlessly appear on the table. (Actually a bad example, because I never was able to find out those things so we ended up with Roasted Beef this year, which was wonderful).
German needs suits for work--must find the new dry cleaner, get enough German words to ask for what I need, learn that a task that usually took 1 day in States and 3 days in England and 2 days in Ireland is going to take SIX here--and miraculously have the clean suits hanging in the closet on the day needed.
You get the idea. Lots of accelerated learning alongside tasks. That happens with every move. Find the best places, learn the new lead times, etc.

But the language difference ramps up that acceleration. Every other move there have been "speed limits" of being able to communicate whilst on the learning curve. Now we are on an autobahn of a learning curve....speeding along in a different language.

Which explains a lot of why I have not had the mental energy to blog much the last few months. It has all gone to trying to acclimate to our new life.

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As I've been contemplating this idea since Christmas, I wonder if some of our "growth leaps" in our spiritual walk are also like "threading a needle at 100 MPH." Sometimes God leads us on nice, well-traveled paths that we can meander and learn and apply the truths in our lives. Other times he takes us to new pastures where we will step outside our comfort zones, but the language and the landscape are common enough that we are learning faster but are still able to acclimate and communicate the changes. Then there are those moments that he says "Let's go for a drive on the Autobahn". In those moments we are just holding on to the experience. Later we are able to reflect and make application.

I'm learning to lay down the common tasks and enjoy the ride. I know that there are others out there right now who are taking Autobahn trips with God. May I suggest you just enjoy the moment. Reflection and application will come after the experience. And it is just as sweet.



Oh....I did finish the ornament. Sitting in my familiar chair in my comfortable living room.
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Next week I'll post some of the pictures of the places that the Autobahn led us to over the holidays.

Whatever the pace of your journey this weekend, I pray that you enjoy a sweet time with friends and family.

photo credits: purchased via istockphoto.com

1 comment:

Tami Boesiger said...

I am nodding my head, friend. I get ya!