Let’s just get this out of the way: I don’t think singing patriotic songs as part of a Christian worship service pleases God. We Americans have a hard time seeing it unless we’ve been outside the US context and watched the damage done by mixing the fallible US government, past actions, & current culture with the Holy word of God. Although the US could benefit from a christian influence, it is not God. The United States does not compare or even come close to reflecting the Holy Father of Jesus Christ.
It’s like looking in a dirty, oxidized, cloudy mirror for God when a crystal clear one is right behind us.
Thirteen months ago we moved to the USA after six years living in the middle east. Six years that made us parents. Six years that built our family traditions and context. Six years free from our culture and free to pick and choose exactly the lifestyle, worship practices, parenting, holidays, and traditions we wanted for us.
Now, after one year back in my home culture and passport country, I feel like a college graduate who’s moved back in with the parents. I find the cultural expectations, norms, and general sense of same-ness to be suffocating.
I’ve seen a different way, a different place, and I loved it. But this is nothing new. People have been experiencing this as long as we have migrated or traveled.
But for me, this time, I’m trying to figure it out. I met my real self over there. There were no cultural norms placed on me regarding clothing, schedules, hair styles, pop culture, food, furniture, housing, even language! I met that person through a difficult process of shedding the layers of culture and norms and costumes that had built up a residue and had to be scrubbed off.
Now, I’m back in the box. The box of my home culture. With so much normal and homogeneity.
Perhaps this is just normal adulthood: complex feelings & thoughts always fighting for the internal spotlight.
The growing pains of being human.
The nature of dynamic souls.