Nightlife Junkie

I have not been to bed before midnight in a good couple weeks. Scout’s honor. Ask anyone that knows me and they won’t have words for the abandonment of my militant sleep/running/class schedules. Though homework and repeat 200’s are still getting done, the French verb sortir has appeared more frequently in my dinner conversations. And, because “cultural immersion” is this semester’s tagline, I wondered exactly how does one go out in Tours, France?

Taking it from the top, the week before this past week began the process of sleep deprivation habituation. My night-owl behavior was a combination of weightlessness in a foreign country and a new friendship. On the nights that I wasn’t staying up aimlessly reading in my bed trying not to feel jittery, a Bible study was struck up between a Japanese friend and myself. Here, you might be thinking how lame! And I would say, you find an appartment half way across a French city in the shadowy fog to play the synonym game in English and French across cultural boundaries concerning Biblical implications for modern day issues over dinner. Why not throw in some French mouth? (FM, cousin to cotton mouth, occurs when successive attempts to speak French are hopelessly intelligible; whereby the poor fool is left to stutter until he regains sanity.)

If my brains were already there to begin with, my past couple weeks would have still been challenging. Not sleeping does wonders for my French vocabulary retention. It has also rained incessantly adding to the perpetual gray over le Pays de la Loire. Then my bank account read 19.31, in dollars unfortunately, right after the last of my food stipend disappeared. In the face of an upcoming oral production test and biology capstone thesis, I thought to invite a friend over to make a dinner for my French siblings. Somewhere between our vegetable flans and pear crumble, we hit it off… as well as every night thereafter. It only required a single hand, at most four fingers, to indicate the hour at which we returned home. No matter where life took us, gorgeous châteaux or en ville, the company is what made it worthwhile.

Here, again, you might be thinking how lame! And I might reply, you try taking God at his word and follow his will by submitting your every thought, action, conversation. What if he brings you away from the monopoly boards of Tayor University? What if he calls you to make friends in a formality-paralyzed, appearance-obsessed culture that loosens up over late night coffee? And so this past week, my French brothers being  home, my linguistic skills grew from informal lessons meeting this or that friend. Perfecting my accent, there was nothing like explaining the ridiculousness of prom to a French motorhead or debating loneliness with a Russian philosophy major at 3 A.M. I found that whatever they taught me in Sunday school is worthless if I can’t explain it and I can’t explain it if I haven’t internalized it. You learn better by doing. Hands down.

It would be just before I leave that I finally get it! You can choose to be a hermit or live on the edge by placing confidence in a God, who, if you let him lead, invite him into every thought and situation, and lean on him, can turn every moment into something that brings him glory. I will say that his Bible is a lifeline, pertinent to any and everything, more evident this semester than ever in my life. I will also add that this has been one of my best weeks ever. For whether in ‘lil Marion, Ohio, or talking politics in a French café, there’s something to this laissez-faire contentment and trust. There might even be something to sharing a little light in the cover of night.

P.S. Your thoughts are more than welcome. And I’ll add some cutesy pictures tomorrow.

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4 thoughts on “Nightlife Junkie

  1. Best paragraphs I have read in awhile….glad you are getting it , and truly the best education is via the Holy spirit…..

  2. Vous Lola and I have often talk about you never shying away from letting God use you to share His Word and love with others. Your reference to His Word reminds me of a poem/hymn my mom taught us way back. You may or may not be familiar with this – allow me to cut and paste:

    Thy Word is Like a Garden, Lord
    Thy Word is like a garden, Lord, with flowers bright and fair;
    And every one who seeks may pluck a lovely cluster there.
    Thy Word is like a deep, deep mine; and jewels rich and rare
    Are hidden in its mighty depths for every searcher there.

    Thy Word is like a starry host: a thousand rays of light
    Are seen to guide the traveler and make his pathway bright.
    Thy Word is like an armory, where soldiers may repair;
    And find, for life’s long battle day, all needful weapons there.

    O may I love Thy precious Word, may I explore the mine,
    May I its fragrant flowers glean, may light upon me shine!
    O may I find my armor there! Thy Word my trusty sword,
    I’ll learn to fight with every foe the battle of the Lord.

    Words: Ed­win Hod­der, The New Sun­day School Hymn Book, 1863.

    Last stanzas may sound militaristic but not too dissimilar from Paul’s metaphor about putting on the whole armor of God.

    Love,
    Lolo et Lola

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