Friday, October 9, 2009

Culture Shock (Personal Health Series: Week 3)


<<Culture Shock Video>>

Everyone gets culture shock. It's normal. It's healthy. It's unavoidable. It's also funny and annoying and depressing and depleting and confusing and sneaky. (Sometimes you are having culture shock even when you don't realize it.) Here in this church, we are blessed or cursed with more culture shock than the average community.

The Bible often deals with themes of culture shock. When the Israelites left Egypt, they complained, “We remember the fish we used to eat for free in Egypt. And we had all the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic we wanted. But now our appetites are gone. All we ever see is this manna!” (Numbers 11:5-6). One of my friends is an engineering executive at a Korean company here in Cheonan. He told me when he sends his Korean engineers to England for training, they pack one suitcase with clothes and one suitcase with ramyeon! Food has always been part of culture shock.

When the leaders of Israel were captured and taken into exile in Babylon, they wrested with culture shock, and they were tempted toward isolation. But God sent them a message through Jeremiah: “Build homes, and plan to stay. Plant gardens, and eat the food they produce. Marry and have children. ... Multiply! Do not dwindle away! And work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, for its welfare will determine your welfare” (Jeremiah 29:4-7).

But culture shock isn't always pretty. ...


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