Shish-kabobs and New Perspectives

I love shish-kabobs. I particularly love Ukrainian shish-kabobs (called “shashlyk” here in Ukraine). Usually the only thing that goes on them is pork or chicken and onions. The marinades are often a special family recipe that’s handed down from father to son through generations.

At my bachelor party, a bunch of friends and I got together to have shashlyk. We all gathered around a fire out in a field one afternoon, hung out, threw a frisbee around, and watched the meat cook. I particularly enjoyed that last part of the activities. 😀 There’s not much better than fresh meat, a fire, and friends. As I was poking the fire and adjusting the skewers, a friend of mine told me to “pereklady” them, which means to turn them over.

I followed his instructions and noted the word he used, because that’s the same word for “translate”. So, in a way, when Ukrainians ask you to translate a word, there are literally asking you to turn it over and let them see the other side.

Another thing that I love is reading my Bible. I love to take the Bible and share it with other people in a way that is enjoyable, sensible, and practical. That way, they can take the Word of God and apply it directly to their lives. It’s a lot like being able to cook shashlyk for a bunch of friends and watch their eyes glisten as they enjoy the savory meat before them.

One of the things that I’ve noticed with reading my Bible is that, when I read it in Ukrainian, it often allows me to “see another side” of what the Bible is saying. I love comparing the different languages (English and Ukrainian) and trying to get the most of the rich meaning that I can out of them. The way Ukrainian flows is a lot closer to Greek, so there are some scriptures that I didn’t fully understand until I read them in the Ukrainian translation.

That translation, that “pereklad”, helped me to “turn the Word over” and see it from another perspective. It’s the same Bible, but I’m getting to see it from another cultural side in another language.

What do you love? Have you ever been to another country? How has that changed your perspectives, your paradigms?

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