Mini-Bible-Philosophy-Worldview Study (10) Of The Day- On Feeling Let Down By God And Other People
Verse Of The Day
And ye have this day rejected your God, who himself saved you out of all your adversities and your tribulations; and ye have said unto him, Nay, but set a king over us. Now therefore present yourselves before the LORD by your tribes, and by your thousands. (Samuel 10:19)
“To people all over America, I say, when you have my father in your corner, you will never again have to worry about being let down. He will fight for you all the time, all the way, every time.”- Ivanka Trump
“When I wake up every morning, I thank God for the new day.”- F. Sionil Jose
“I’m always disappointed when people don’t live up to their potential. I know that a number of people look down on themselves and consequently on everybody who looks like them. But that, too, can change.”- Maya Angelou
Questions For Discussion
Do you struggle to accept people who irritate you?
Do you find yourself changing your words and actions to feel more accepted in your family, in some social circles, and at your job?
Is it difficult to not feel let down by God when things you want in life don’t come your way?
Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory. (Ephasians 3:13)
I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. (John 10:9)
The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing (Zephaniah 3:17)
Commentary- On Where Does God Go?
Craig note- I was thinking about a religious meme I got this morning. The time zone difference between Japan and America makes it difficult to call home. But, in the world of social media, it allows me to wake up to tons of fresh content from my great friends.
Today was no exception.
On Going To Church After Missing A Lot Of Sundays
This morning I got a meme that showed someone on fire as they stood inside a church on Easter Sunday. The caption read, “My visit to church went as expected.” It was so funny that I spit out my green tea.
I shared the meme. Truthfully, I assume that would be exactly what would happen if I went into a church again. One of my great pals is a pastor, and he disagreed. He posted this as a reply:
21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.
22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:
23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it, and let us eat, and be merry:
24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again, he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry. (Luke 15: 20–24)
I spent a good deal of time in church when I was a younger man. In fact, I thought I would become a pastor. But, I did not. Rather, I became Buddhist.
Too, I explored for five years how to become a Buddhist monk. But, I did not go down that path. The more I read about Buddhist monks in Japan, the more I came to realize that many of them do not like being monks.
The vast majority of Japanese monks simply follow in the footsteps of their fathers to keep the cash rolling in for the family. You may believe in “nothing,” but even “nothing” is not free in the Western world, especially in Japan.
I came out as Buddhist a few years ago. Surprisingly, it cost me friends on social media. I come from a fairly conservative area of America.
It’s not the Bible-thumping South, but there are those who wave the Bible around for all to see. I guess believing in Jesus left them little room in their lives to look at my food pictures on Facebook.
But, I digress.
I had a title to this post as I recall, “Where Does God Go?”
I have been here for 13 years, and I don’t know. I do remember as a younger man sincerely believing “God talked to me.”
Now, I don’t mean God talked to me like one of those crazy people on TV. And, it was nothing so grand as the “Burning Bush” found in the Bible. But, I thought God led my life in a positive direction along with an eternal destination. Unfortunately, that was not the case for me as a young man in America.
Before I came to Japan, my life stunk. I was 75,000 dollars in debt. I had no job or health insurance. And, my love life was non-existent. The girl I wanted to marry said, “I really want a boyfriend. But, I really, really, really don’t want you, Craig.”
My life was so terrible that even my own beloved mother said, “You should go to Japan.” Can you imagine a mother pushing for her son to leave America?
But, she did.
And, I left.
After the plane landed, my life in Japan kept getting better and better. It was like I could do no wrong. I was happy about that. But, there was part of me that always wondered when the sky was going to fall on the “heathen.” Fifteen years later, it still has not.
Some years ago, I stopped wondering, and I started living, really living, in Japan. My apologies if the title gave you false hope that a Grey, Grizzled, and Gaijin expat has all your existential solutions.
Sadly, no, I don’t know the answer.
But, I know where I went, and, more importantly, I know where I am.
Today, that is enough for me as I ponder: “Where does God go?”
Grey, Grizzled, and Gaijin