Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Canada (01/29/09)
TITLE: Canada versus USA?
By Clyde Blakely
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Naïve is probably the appropriate term to use for a country boy recently saved to go to Canada for Bible training. I was excited, yet filled with all the emotions of leaving home for the first time, away from family and most of my friends. Short weekend phone calls and letters (computers were more theory than fact back then), did help. I looked forward to a rewarding time of growing closer to God and learning “how to be a good Christian,” never expecting to experience culture shock since Canada and America bordered each other and spoke the same language (sort of).
My experience at Bible College was a real eye-opener. After introducing myself to my new Canadian roommate, I was quickly informed: “You Americans think you’re so smart, I bet I can name a higher percentage of states than you can name provinces,” next I was asked if I had studied a foreign language. I told him I studied Spanish which drew belittlement of me for not studying French as “Canada is bilingual”. He concluded his “introduction” with, “If America ceased to exist Canada would not even notice, but if Canada ceased to exist America would fold.”
So went much of my enthusiasm for a good Bible college experience. I did not return after my first year. I thought we were brothers, in more ways than one. I’m 60 years old and now find not much has changed from my initial impression. My daughter started dating a man from Canada, who made his sentiments clear as he began spitting venom about the USA to her father - me. Even a popular beer commercial in Canada berates the USA – why?
In discussing this with my wife, I decided to share my concerns. I love Canada and its citizens but I don’t understand why there is such negativism toward Americans.
My favorite memory from Canada was letters later received from a Canadian girl named Joy I had dated just once. She was always positive and signed her letters “Because of Jesus, Joy”. That attitude has become a part of my faith life to this day, and I’m thankful for that positive remembrance from my Bible college experience.
Canada is a great country with potential, as is all of God’s creation. So why is there we versus you, especially among the household of God? Have we let the world influence our thinking? Is America perfect? Are any of the world’s nations perfect?
I’m still seeking a reason for the antagonism, an end to the brotherly bickering, and relief of my deep concern.
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