I very seldom take pictures anymore. I took thousands as a father. As a grandfather, I let everyone else take the shots.
So far, on our trip to Japan, there has been only one photo I have wanted to take. It was of the omelet chef in our hotel making omelets with chopsticks. Even though he didn’t need a spatula to flip the omelet since he had the pan flip down to perfection, he did everything else with his fingers and his chopsticks. It looked out of place.
In my mind, this anomaly of life reflected an attempt to synchronize the dichotomy between two distinctly different worlds. I doubt the Japanese of antiquity ever made omelets. Yet, modern Japan is trying to accommodate Western guests known as tourists. Thus, omelets are made with chopsticks.
Jesus spoke of the coming together of two vastly different worlds – the world of His Kingdom here on earth and the world that is deeply in sin. He prayed to His Father concerning His disciples, “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world…. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.” John 17:16, 18
We are called by Jesus to be in the world, but not of the world. We do what we are supposed to be doing on behalf of the King in a world that He wants redeemed.
In a sense, the omelet chef is like a disciple trying to deal the world around him. He is in a culinary world that has to address the needs of the Western visitor. But he really isn’t of that world. He is in that world, but not really of it. So, he makes omelets with chopsticks.
As we commit ourselves to following the King, we need to figure out how to be in the world, but not of the world. We need to learn how to serve this world without becoming like it. We need to learn how to make omelets with chopsticks.
Something to think about…
Missions Comment: Missionaries have the challenging responsibility of learning what is culturally correct and fitting in with the culture without compromising their faith and what is biblical. This is not always easy. We need to be in constant prayer for missionaries that they would be sensitive to the world around them without forfeiting that in which they believe to be true according the Word of God.