I am very happy these days. There's a song I have been listening to these days and the lyrics are a perfect expression of what I am feeling right now. I am happy. But not excited happy. I am comfortable, peaceful, and thankful happy and full of praise.
My small group from church has been doing a study of the Book of Daniel and it's been a great chapter for giving me perspective. About two months ago, I read Humility, the Forgotten Virtue. Strength for Life and found it to be an amazing study into the terrible world of pride. It was a great study for me and I identified several areas in my life that I needed to focus on eliminating a prideful spirit. To say that it was a tough study, would be an understatement.
Anyway, this week I was reminded of the destructive role that pride plays in our lives- after reading the first four chapters of Daniel. (Which I must say is an excellent book of the bible to read! I don't think I have ever read it before).
So where am I going with this? Well, one of the biggest challenges of residing in Tokyo is the absence of an awareness, acknowledgment, or even praise of God. To say that you are Christian is often met with skepticism, disdain, and sometimes even contempt. People just don't want to hear anything about God and laugh at the thought of Jesus Christ existing. This is an amazing place to grow in your walk-- or even begin a walk with God. There is a sadness here though. I notice it when I am happy and people think I'm strange.
I receive a lot of e-mails from SiT readers and I am often asked for advice on living here. The best advice I can provide anyone planning to live or visit a foreign country is to use your time as an opportunity to get closer to God. Find a way. Keep a journal. Challenge your beliefs-- especially those who do not believe in God; and allow yourself to think about God. Just living here in Japan demonstrates so many amazing things to me. 1) The power of Language 2) People-- the human nature of people is the same in every country 3) Love- and not the romantic love that comes to mind first. But the love of people, love of helping people. Living here helps me to see God working in way I never imagined.
Anyway, you guys there's a
praise on the inside that I can't keep to myself.... A holler stirring
up, from the depths of my soul. So excuse me if I seem a little giddy,
or maybe even strange... But Praise is the way I say thanks :).