“When one adapts to a new culture, he or she becomes a bicultural person. Bicultural people really live in two worlds. They are part of two cultures and are never fully adjusted when they are in one or the other. They may eventually feel more comfortable in their adopted culture than in their native one, but they are still part of both. No matter which culture they are in, they will always seek little details, such as food or news, which reaffirm the other part of themselves. Their happiest moments may come when they are moving from one culture to the other after a long absence.”
-Kairos, from article by Stephen T. Hoke “Coping with Culture Shock”
After reading this paragraph earlier today I felt a certain level of relief. I am okay! I am normal! I knew most of this in my heart, but I sometimes think I may be failing to adjust the way I am supposed to. Now that I know it is normal I feel freedom. We are not citizens of this world. It is okay… perhaps even good to always be a little off-balance so that I remember that.
The last sentence left me questioning though. I can see that I am often the most happy when in a time of transitioning back to the culture that I have been away from for a while. I wonder if we sometimes seek out opportunities, consciously or unconsciously, to be in this state of transition. Do we travel so much as a result of this “need” and not always as a result of his calling? Does all of the traveling we do to teach, reach, and meet always add to the work that God is doing in and through our lives, or would we be better off staying still for a little longer in order to meet our Lord on a deeper level in the midst of wrestling with these emotions of unrest? Would we do well to struggle deeply like Hudson Taylor, J. O. Fraser, and other early pioneers in one field until we encounter the breakthroughs, either spiritually or in reaping, that many of them experienced after quite a significant time in the same field?
I guess I have more questions than answers right now… I thought you all would appreciate the quote at least and maybe have some of your own thoughts to add to mine.
Love to all of you fellow fishes out of water,