i think the longer i live here in japan, the clearer it becomes to me that there is really only one thing in life that i would care to raise a banner for, and that is Jesus. not church. not christianity. just Jesus.
there are a lot of things i care about, and i hold strong convictions for a few — motherhood, medical choices, the Bible, sleep issues, music, femininity, marriage roles, missions, disciplining children, third world issues, theology, fellowship, adoption, the church, hospitality, discipleship, communion, etc. but no matter how i feel about these, how strongly i believe God is calling me toward some of them, i have little to no desire in my heart to impress anything about them on other people.
this is a change for me — something new. i felt differently previously and voiced most of my opinions about everything in earlier days. i pondered this the other day as i was reading a rather strong blog post on one of the above topics, and i realized that although my life actions and convictions were in line with what the author was suggesting, i didn’t want to recommend anyone to read what was written. introspective to the core, i wondered about this.
what i came up with is that after living in another culture and seeing so many people do life totally differently than i would’ve ever imagined (and its done differently in hundreds of other places, as well!), i’m starting to loosen my grip on my idealistic black-and-white way of thinking. its natural to question and rethink your perspective when daily surrounded by things so different than what you knew growing up, and the result is refreshing for me. i’m okay and even more comfortable with the gray areas of life, relationships, and things pertaining to God.
but because of this, i’m starting to feel like a lot of space and air is wasted on frivolous discussions about matters that seem to be very important, but when we widen our perspective, find that they aren’t as pressing as we once thought. is it possible we as Americans are rich in so many areas — housing, cars, food, politics — that even our thought-lives have become decadent?
something to ponder, at least.