This is America, Speak English!

This is America, Speak English!

When we were in China we took an overnight train to Xi’an. It was crowded and smoky. We were the only non-Chinese on the train. People were grunting things at us and I couldn’t understand what they were saying. It was chaotic.

As we did our best to find a place for our backpacks a nice Chinese young man came up and began speaking in fluent English.

“Hi, I’m Nelson. If you need help with anything I’m just down the way. Welcome to China.”

It was a major relief to know there was someone around who wanted to help us.

But then things got tense. A lady behind me began yelling at Nelson. A look of fear appeared on his face. He lowered his head and walked away.

I turned to my friend Stephen, asking what had happened.

Apparently the lady had rebuked Nelson for speaking English. She said, “Why are you speaking English! This is China. They need to speak Chinese!”

It made me realize something.

Small-minded people are everywhere.

Americans get ragged on a lot for being small-minded, but trust me, people like that are everywhere.

The best I can figure, the reason people turn into jerks about new, unfamiliar things is because it makes them uncomfortable and they don’t understand it.

I think a huge key to living an extraordinary life is to get comfortable being uncomfortable. Get comfortable being in new, awkward situations that stretch your view of the world. I’m pretty convinced it’s the only sane way to live.

The world is a big place. God filled it with lots of diversity. My way isn’t the only way. My language isn’t the only language. My culture isn’t the only culture.

I think my _______ is best, but that’s only because it’s familiar.

Our lives get a lot fuller when we get out of our comfort zone and explore new ideas, cultures, languages and ways of doing things. Might as well get used to it now, we are going to spend eternity with folks from all over this world!

After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. (Rev. 7:8)