It’s funny what bits and pieces of different languages and cultures we can pick up. From 1999-2001 I was in graduate school at the University of South Florida. One of my fellow grad students, and one that I hung out with a lot, was a Canadian. The furthest north I’d lived was Roanoke, VA. Since he was a stranger in our land, which being Florida was strange itself, he had no license and, maybe as important, no car. His apartment was, at least for the first year of school, on the way to mine so I would give him a ride home quite often. I wasn’t going to let my poor Canadian trumpet-playing brother walk in the treacherous 75 degree Tampa weather in winter!
We decided that we would place a bet- a friendly wager, if you will. Although I no longer drink, I surely did then, so the bet was for a Guinness. I thought I could influence him to say “y’all” before he could get me to say “eh?” at the end of a sentence. Seriously, the trumpet practicing and grad school was destroying our brains. And the excessive amounts of the subject of our wager probably didn’t help, either! Well, it turns out that Canadian-ese is more infectious than Southern American. We were at a stoplight one day, and a car with hydraulics pulled up next to us. I said, “You don’t see that everyday, eh?” I lost. I have to inform you, my readership, that I continued to use the “eh?” several more times. It’s part of a linguistic takeover. Mark those words.
So what’s the spiritual lesson here? Canadians are evil? No. Hockey is of the devil? Well, only if you’re in New Jersey. (I heard the crickets chirping on that one… you’ll get it.) No, that’s not it, either. Here’s the thing- when we surround ourselves with godly influences, that will attract our thinking. When we surround ourselves with ungodly influences, that will start to have a pull on us. And again, I am not calling Canadians evil! Look at James 4:4 and consider what he is saying to us:
“Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” (ESV)
I think the breakdown is pretty clear here. If you want to have both feet, or really even one foot in ungodly behavior, you’re a friend of the world. This is directly opposite of what God wants, though. Think of it as calling yourself a true, die-hard fan of one team and saying you’re a true, die-hard fan of that team’s rival. Doesn’t work, eh?
Until next time!