One foot in both camps
In case you wonder if I am obsessed with my foot, let me set your mind at rest. I don’t think I am! I don’t believe I am! In case you wonder if I am writing yet another blog about my foot, you can sink back on your chair with relief. Let me assure you that my title is simply a figure of speech. I decided it would be rather innovative to sport another title involving my foot this week as well, just for the fun of it.
After all, my amazing, corrected, recovering right foot is constantly before me in all its glory, wrapped up finely in many layers of crepe bandage; stuck together by plenty of sticking plaster; held firmly by two large pins; all of it covered satisfactorily by a true blue (my favourite colour! Perhaps the surgeon ordered it in THAT colour especially for me?) shoe!
One foot in both camps? Aha! There could be more than just one kind of foot saga afoot you know…..! So tighten your seatbelts, take a deep breath and we shall be off - tramping boldly in long stockings and gum boots into yet another blogging adventure in the life of ACA.
Two days ago we in the Great Southland of the Holy Spirit celebrated Australia day. What is Australia Day? Australia day, celebrated on Jan 26th every year, commemorates the day the first fleet arrived in Port Jackson in 1778. The day has other names attached to it– Anniversary day, Invasion Day, Foundation Day and Survival Day being some of them. This momentous date is widely celebrated by Australians with picnics, barbecues, citizenship ceremonies, street parades, often ending with spectacular fireworks. A day it is to reflect on our heritage. A day it is to be immensely grateful for this beautiful land that many of us from many diverse cultures are blessed to call our home.
In January 1999, my own little family migrated to Australia, leaving our then war torn country for a more secure future. The past 14 years have sped by on eagle’s wings and we haven’t looked back. When we arrived in this special Land Down Under, our son Asela was only 8 years old – an excited exuberant little boy with most of his boyhood ahead of him. Now, he’s 22 years old – a tall quiet, handsome, young man sporting a beard and studying for a degree in Computer science. Where has the time gone?
Australia has welcomed us into her borders. We are very grateful for the many splendid opportunities she has afforded us and for the good life we have enjoyed here. We’ve been deeply blessed to spread our roots in this amazing land of exotic beaches and starlit skies, of wide open plains and endearing koala bears, of red sands and kookaburras. We have been greatly enriched as we made friends with many lovely people and learnt interesting facets about the fascinating Aussie culture. Life here is wonderful and I thank God for it every day.
Shan, Asela and I have been Australian citizens for almost 11 years. We are also Sri Lankan citizens. So we have two sets of passports; two countries we call home. Many precious friends in Sri Lanka and many precious friends here in Australia. When we travel to Sri Lanka, we are glad to return home to our extended families and to our friends in the country of our birth. But when we come back to Australia, then too, we are pleased to return home to our home away from home. (Or was it the other way around? Had we just returned from that home away from home?)
Two Homes. Two Countries. Two Identities. Citizens of two countries. Does that sound familiar? It came home to me the other day that my family’s sojourn in a home away from home is very much like the spiritual sojourn of us Christians. We who are Disciples of Jesus are in this world but not of it. We are citizens of this world but we are also citizens of another “country”. We live in this world but our values, our hopes, our dreams, our expectations, our actions are all based on the laws of another Land.
As Christians, we have a dual responsibility. To live with integrity and courage in this fallen world; but not to be tainted by its erroneous philosophies. To bear the name of Christian; but to act for the good of all mankind. To follow our Risen Saviour; but to live in a culture that has forgotten their Saviour.
Sometimes it is an enormous challenge to know what God requires of me. How do I balance what it means to be His child with all that goes on around me? How do I stay true to my calling but also empathise with those around me, those who have no inkling of God and His ways? How do I please Him and yet fit into the society I live in?
Have you heard that one can be ‘too heavenly minded for any earthly use”? How do I stay heavenly minded enough so I am useful in God’s kingdom and also in this presednt world? I think the secret is in listening to God. If I am in tune with Him and His desires, I believe His Direction and Guidance will keep me within the boundaries of where I should be and how I should live.
One foot in two camps? Could such feet march to the required drumbeat of both camps?
Let me follow His lead and seek His ways. Let me pray and live as He taught us.