the mindset of a missionary

October 16 [Tue], 2007, 3:17
i suppose i've known it all along, but today i was realizing why i don't like living in the US. i feel like i'm starting to assimilate and i don't like it. i don't want to be one of them. i guess the issue is that i don't want to be "one of them" anywhere that i happen to be. because the point isn't to be part of them--it's to have a different mindset. sure, you immerse yourself in whatever is going on wherever you happen to be whenever you happen to be there. but there is such a difference between immersing yourself in a culture different from your own and letting it become your own culture. when missionaries go to japan, they immerse themselves--they live in japan. they have to live like japanese people to a certain extent. but clearly they are not japanese. the first difference japanese people will see is appearance. but the first difference i would feel is that although our lifestyles are similar, our worldviews are very different. in the US, by being individualistic and asserting your opinion, you are being like everyone else. by saying your worldview is right and other people's are wrong, people don't care to listen to you anymore. you're a fanatic. in the US, everyone is bringing a different view. i can't figure out how to present my lifestyle and worldview in a way that clearly shows i'm different and worth listening to. in japan, i'm already clearly different and that opens up discussion, or at least interest, even if it's only in the fact that i'm american or because i look different. here i blend in and i can't get used to it. christians aren't supposed to blend in, are they? how do i live in the US and immerse myself, but not blend in? it's aggravating. but a challenge as well. because i could live in japan and feel better about myself because i would feel that i'm different from them--i wouldn't have to work hard to be different. but here it's not like that. here it takes a concious effort to live in a way that can make a difference. so maybe my desire to flee the country is me wanting to escape to a place where i feel better about myself.

"He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us."

this is what i should be concerned with--living the way God says where i am right now. not wishing i was somewhere else so i could feel like i'm living the way God says.
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