In Water buffalo Theology, theologian and missionary Koyama writes about a traditionally rural view of the world as being essentially cyclical, following patterns of seasons, weather, and farming. He suggests therefore that a major challenge to this worldview therefore is to introduce the notion of God acting in linear time – that history is in fact going somewhere and one day will reach a conclusion. I might not be herding water buffalos, (although between my kids and the scouts…) but at the moment I find I have quite a lot of sympathy with a cyclical view of the world where the sun keeps rising and the rain keeps raining and it is easy to lose sight of the idea of any sort of linear progress. Work, family, school, bureaucracy, Scouts, paperwork, meetings, church, preaching… I think there is a discipline in learning to notice the blessings in an ordinary life, and in remembering that we aren’t called to be excited but to be faithful.
Yesterday I took Danny to an appointment with the psicopedagoga (educational professional) who is trying to assess him for the school. From the other side of the door, I could hear her asking him to tell her the colours of the play dough, and him answering her all in English, even though I know he knows the colours in Spanish. So she asked him to say it “so I can understand”, and he went straight into an absolutely wonderful rendition of “speaking English to a foreigner” – loudly, slowly and with a comedy music hall Argentinean accent! I was crying with laughter on the wrong side of the door, and it also caused me to conclude that this kid probably has all the personal resources he needs to do whatever he wants with his life; the real challenge is going to be how to get him through formal education for the next twelve years.