Rainbow Bridge – Odaiba Island – Minato, Tokyo, Japan
Kon ni chi wa (Hello!) from Tokyo, Japan.
Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would visit this country, but I’m here anyways and it is fantastic. However, Tokyo isn’t the main subject of this post (I’ll do a full post of our adventures some other time).
Being in a far away, foreign land isn’t as bad as I imagine it was “back in the day”. In fact today, with the presence of social media (and healthy wi-fi) you really don’t have to miss a beat. Since being in Tokyo, we typically end the night going through photos taken throughout the day and maybe catching up on things back home. Social media then, has been a gift because we are able to keep up with all sorts of cool things taking place across the water. However, the flip side is that because of social media we get to see all of the terribly dark and horrific things taking place back home as well.
With all of the election drama going on and starting (but not yet finishing) the new portrayal of “Roots”, I was actually glad to be able to get away from the States for a bit. As a result, being in Tokyo has been the reinforcement I needed to remind me that the world is much bigger than the US and in the grand scheme of things, our problems, my problems are but a blip on the global radar. Yet still, because of the pull of social media and my (sometimes unhealthy) attraction to it, I can’t help but to have one eye on the amazing sights here and another on my home country.
As I lay on this Shiki futon in Tokyo while dark clouds have formed and are about to bring forth seasonal rainfall, a dark cloud hangs over my home country. Sadly, these days this is a recurring theme. Once again the nation is hurting, families are hurting. Once again, there is this thunderous sound of voices all jockeying for position to be heard. There are no shortages of commentary and opinions on the recent events in Orlando and other headlines. People are talking, people are arguing, people are asking questions, people are providing “answers”; everyone has something to say. The temptation for me is to throw my voice in the imaginary ring and vie for a space and opportunity to be heard. Yet, I fight to restrain myself and refrain from being a part of the noise especially in times like these.
Contrary to popular belief and practice, in times like these it’s all the more important for us to be:
“…quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger.” (James 1:19)
“For the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God” (James 1:20)
Instead, I will simply remind you of what my wife and I were reminded of this morning as we read a chapter from the Psalms. At the end of day, when we don’t have the words to say or when there are too many words being said, we ought to take a step back and hear the voice of God. When all other voices become clanging cymbals and when all other voices eventually fade out (until the next “big thing”), God’s Word will remain faithful and true; it (nor He) never fails. Listen to this:
We give thanks to you, O God;
we give thanks, for your name is near.
We recount your wondrous deeds.
2 “At the set time that I appoint
I will judge with equity.
3 When the earth totters, and all its inhabitants,
it is I who keep steady its pillars. Selah
4 I say to the boastful, ‘Do not boast,’
and to the wicked, ‘Do not lift up your horn;
5 do not lift up your horn on high,
or speak with haughty neck.’”
6 For not from the east or from the west
and not from the wilderness comes lifting up,
7 but it is God who executes judgment,
putting down one and lifting up another.
8 For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup
with foaming wine, well mixed,
and he pours out from it,
and all the wicked of the earth
shall drain it down to the dregs.
9 But I will declare it forever;
I will sing praises to the God of Jacob.
10 All the horns of the wicked I will cut off,
but the horns of the righteous shall be lifted up. – Psalm 75 (ESV)
May His words (Word) be the foundation upon which you stand. May they fill you with hope and peace. And finally, may they even be the basis for the words you choose to speak and the life you choose to live. For Christ’s sake, amen.
Listening to and for Him,