Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Why Russia?

A lot of people ask me the following question. "Why did you decide to study Russian?" Sometimes I occasionally get the question "Why are you going to Russia?" Although I generally try to head this one off before it gets asked. It's true confessions of Abigail time in the blog today. As I was getting ready for the day I was doing some thinking and realized something.

Russia scares me.

Yes, that's right. You heard me correctly. Russia scares me. Funny isn't it? I've learned the language and culture of a place that I'm hesitant to go to. I spent ten and a half months in a place that I don't like.

What is it about that place that scares me?
I have no idea.
It's not really that I'm terrified for my personal safety or anything. There are just somethings about Russia that are intimidating.
It could be the wildness of the country, how it's not really European, it's its own place. It could be the government, it could be the cities, it could be the language or the people. It could be the history, the school system, the healthcare system, the food, the living style. It could be because my exchange year was rough sometimes. Or it could be a combination of all of the above and more.

So why am I going to Russia if it's a scary place?
The easy answer would be "God called me," but that would be ducking out without answering the question and not to be rude, but we all get tired of hearing people talk about "God's Call." Do I feel like God is calling me to Russia? Yes. Do I think he's been preparing me for years to go do this, even before I really knew this is what I wanted to do? Yes. Did I make an Oath to God that I would go serve the Russian people? No. Am I really obligated to go? Not really. Do I have freewill to go? Yes. Will I feel like I've missed an opportunity to shine for the Lord if I don't go? Yes.

Now that we have all that out of the way, back to the original question. Why go if it seems scary?
Anyone who knows me, knows that I don't like to take the easy way out. I've always felt the need to be different. Do things differently than everyone else. Choose the harder way. I speak French, I could just as easily have contacted WWW and said, "Hey, put me in touch with France!" That country doesn't scare me. But that would be too easy. Maybe it's about sacrifice? Or maybe it's about my comfort zone? I don't know for sure. I'm having trouble putting my emotions into words, but I can tell you this:

I've learned that the hardest trials bring the greatest rewards. Maybe I sound cliche. But it's the truth. Why Russia? Because getting out there in a place that makes me feel uncomfortable, will make me rely more on God and trust in him to take care of me and remind me that everything is going to be alright.


Matthew Branco said...

I've thought about the idea of making myself more dependent on God when I could perfectly well just stay comfortable. I am really excited that your motivated by the same idea!

JCF said...

I don't think I've ever been as proud of you as I am right at this moment.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Russia engenders dependence upon God in many ways. St. Pete. is no more dangerous than NYC, LA or any other big city. I've never been mugged, thank God, in 14 years here but my wife was. So, just be careful and trust God...as Nehemiah says "we prayed to God and posted the guard" (Neh. 4:9).