Thursday, January 17, 2008

A Grafted Culture

I grew up a pretty normal kid.

I don’t know if I really noticed a difference between South-eastern Ohio and the rest of the world…just never thought about it.

Different cultures…it just wasn’t something I “got”…you know?

Not much really changed for me until I moved to Texas for about a year, then I knew there were different cultures…but I still didn’t appreciate it.

When I went to visit Denise in Spain before we were married…a whole new world began to open up to me…there were cultures, people doing different things and having their own set of traditions, different actions motivated by the same things that motivate me…just done differently. They did things differently because that was…just who they are.



Why do they do that? Because it is what they do…and that…well that’s why.

Different people do different things…interesting isn’t it?

What a bubble I had been living in…I began to appreciate the fact that there were places, and people that did things differently than me, and began to appreciate that culture because it was so outside of myself…I began to understand that the world is something so much bigger than…


It really helped me get outside of myself and understand…the world. For a short two weeks I enjoyed the culture in Spain so much that I began to slowly try to graft myself into the culture. 2 weeks is not nearly enough to do that, but I so wanted to that I actually ordered my own food in Spanish…I did so very poorly, but they had pity on me and somehow managed to understand my shoddy Spanish and I got the right food.

Not bad for a hillbilly.

It is nearly 8 years later…and I still want to go back to Sevilla, I just love that culture. If it were to happen that I could go there and live, I would have to adapt and be grafted into that society because it isn’t my native society. In due time I would become a part of that society and speak Spanish, take my siesta, get a job, walk (instead of drive) to work, eat the food there, and so on. Could I still speak English? Sure. Could I still do the things that I did/do in America? Sure.

The point is I would grow and change and the more my grafting “took” the more “Spanish” I would become and the less “American” I would be…still American…but slowly becoming more Spanish.

When we are talking about being grafted into the family of God it is a similar thing, you are in the family…and slowly you are picking up traits of the family. Your speech may change, your actions may change, how you spend your time, money, whatever may change. How successful would it be for me to try to graft into Spanish culture if I made no effort to learn Spanish, always looked for a hamburger, and so on…it would be a lousy graft.

So…if we are believers…and we look at this principle…how is our graft taking? We could be in Spain…but not act very Spanish…Are we in the family of God…but not acting much like a family member?

How is the graft?

There is something bigger than us…and we can be a part of it…but we have to graft our thought process and life pattern into that “culture”…or we can never fully appreciate it.

So…about that graft… is all rather humbling.

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