Cultural Wonderings

By May 27, 2008 culture, faith No Comments

It is damp and gloomy here in central Illinois today. This sort of weather always triggers a desire within me to snuggle-up under a blanket for a nap! Melancholy drifts over me too, like a wistful fog. What tugs at my heart today is a longing for last month’s vacation—not so much the trip itself (although Bora Bora was the ultimate getaway! see a few photos here) but rather the internal relaxation and rest mode that a vacation induces.

The unscheduled days somehow rushed by that week. I didn’t spend time on any of my writing projects, but I did jot some observational notes about the culture and life there.

The culture in Bora Bora is much different from our own, and in some ways, it is better. I realize we cannot neatly transpose their culture onto ours. But the mentality and lifestyle of the Tahitians challenged me to review how I live my life and what I dedicate my time and effort toward.

I left Bora Bora with my eyes opened a bit wider to the ways I have conformed to my own culture. Some aspects of Bora Bora’s culture I would like to replicate in my own mind and heart and life. There is also a danger, however, of looking to a culture (whether ours or the Tahitian) to conform to. The Scripture that challenges me is this one, from Paul’s letter to the believers in Rome:

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” —Romans 12:2, NAS

The world we live in whispers that we are valuable because of the money we can gain through the work of our hands. But what if that cultural norm were null? What then would we do with our time, our intellect, our drive, and our creativity?

What would you occupy your time with if our culture did not operate on a monetary system (thus canceling the need to earn money to support your life)?

That’s the question for you, dear blogging world! More to come . . .

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