This week when I was in one of our plants in South Carolina, I saw a quote carved in a piece of soap stone that made me think. It was not the quote above, so you will need to keep on reading to find out what it was.
Because my colleague is from Venezuela, even though the quote was in English, I started thinking how it would sound in Spanish or in Portuguese.
Learning a new language is an exciting and challenging process.
Each language has its own particularities that can make it difficult for someone to master.
Portuguese is not a popular choice for a second language among Americans, but over the years Liz has been teaching it to several students.
We observe that a few elements make quite difficult to learn Portuguese:
– The verbs have over a dozen tenses, which perfectly express the action being described, but have to be memorized to be used the right way.
– Objects have gender (masculine or feminine), which determines the article to be used and the appropriate adjective that goes with it, and sometimes create hilarious mistakes.
I could continue the list, but there is one particular difference that is very remarkable: the verb “to be”.
In Portuguese, as in other Latin languages, we have two possibilities: “ser” or “estar”, with fairly different meanings.
– “Ser” is used for things that are more permanent.
For example, if I want to say “I am a man”, I would use the verb “ser”, in the proper tense: “Eu sou um homem”
– “Estar” is used for situations that indicate a condition at a given point in time.
For example, “I am tired” would use “estar”: “Eu estou cansado.”
Those options give more clarity to the idea we are expressing.
Now, when I think about the most powerful way to express God’s name, it immediately comes to my mind when God presents himself as “I am”.
I am. Period. No need for more.
That is awesome!
Then in Portuguese it becomes even better, because it indicates not a temporary condition, but a permanent one: “Eu sou”.
“Eu sou”. Period. The same yesterday, today and forever…
No, I didn’t forget the quote in my friend’s office:
“Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalms 46:10)
What a privilege to be able to spend time in His presence!