A canvas from Carnival del Toro, Ciudad Rodrigo 25/2/2017.
When I went to Ciudad Rodrigo last weekend, I was severely tempted to run with the bulls. To my mothers’ (not a typo, you know who you are) relief, my friends held me back. Later, with a more clear head, I realized I would have been less of the agile, suave toreador, and more like Munch’s Scream transposed. Less confidently handling what comes at me, and more terrified cries for help. I’m not an art critic, but in the original, despite signs of civilization, no one appears to be answering the figure’s call.
I like to think I’m a pretty competent person. You know, maybe not the best at anything, but alright at a lot of things. I like to think I can make things work out.
I’m also pretty sure God sees that and laughs.
Last Monday night during discipleship time with some of the En Vivo team, I realized one of the things God has been teaching me this semester is how wrong I am on that. Seriously, since I arrived, nothing has worked. My first day(s) here, my apartment had no hot water, a situation I couldn’t fix because of my insanely poor Spanish. I then went to some friends’ apartment to shower and broke their shower head before I could even get in. This is out of chronological order, but I also later broke the shower in my own apartment.
I have continuously tried to make plans only to see them fall through, usually due to my own mistakes. I planned an end-of-semester trip, but booked the flight on a day I had a mandatory event I had forgotten to write on the calendar. Later, I planned a weekend trip that left a day earlier than I was available to leave.
Last week was midterms, and I bombed them. Well, I don’t actually have the grades back yet, but I was super sick and hazy and I have a strong feeling I didn’t even understand half the questions.
Speaking of this cold, it has also taken away what I often think of as my greatest strength – my voice. Although the language barrier had taken away this some, being completely unable to speak over a low voice even in English makes communication difficult.
Basically, I haven’t done very much right since I got here. At first, I was frustrated all the time and sometimes wanted to yell, pout, and cover my head. The cool thing is, I’m starting to realize that’s good. I start to see the hand of God in everything good I do when everything else I do is bad.
So I will boast in my weakness, because if someone looks at me, I don’t want them to think I’m managing on my own. Although Paul was speaking about a physical weakness, I don’t think it’s taken out of context to mean whatever weakness we face.
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.