I got back from Fritzlar Bible School Wednesday night. I was down there teaching earlier this week. They decided to put me on the regular rotation of outside faculty, so this was my first time as part of that rotation. I always enjoy my time there. Not only is the town beautiful, but the students are awesome. Always very inspiring. I took about 10 hours worth of material. Much of it involved an in-depth discussion/introduction to the three worlds of Christianity as it's being processed theologically. Lots of statistics, examples, and anecdotes from the Three Worlds. The students were very attentive and had great questions. They are exactly the kind of students that can engage all three worlds...and will probably have to in their lifetime.
For the final session, I talked about missionary life. I talked about the different kinds of characteristics one might need to have to be on the mission-field. And while one of the biggest is cultural sensitivity---the ability to understand foreign cultures and not impose your own cultural expectations on foreigners, there is also the fact that you will need a good sense of humor. You will have to laugh at yourself a lot. As you learn the language, or the customs, or try the food--you will have awkward and funny experiences. It helps if you don't take yourself seriously. If you can enjoy those moments when you mess up or say the wrong thing--as embarrassing as it may be.
On the flipside, foreign cultures are also funny to us. Sometimes foreign people do things that are strange or hard to understand. Sometimes they seem ridiculous. And it's okay to laugh at that too. Every culture has its nonsensical things. They are all flawed and silly.
We're not really made to be foreigners. We long for home.
So in the spirit of not taking ourselves so seriously, here's a hilarious video clip from the BBC's Catherine Tate Show which always makes me laugh at the ignorance of Helen as well as the ridiculousness of culture and language in general.