ごめん, ごめん, I'm a day late writing this for the second week in a row.
I plead having Scottish visitors and playing a very-bad-Hokkaido-tour-guide as an excuse.
In the past 4 days we have travelled to Hakodate, stayed in a luxury hotel, eaten way too much food, returned to Sapporo, hung out with a lot of people, been to Hokudai festival, sang karaoke and spent this morning at my church. And did I mention that we've eaten way too much food?!
It's been a whole bunch of wonderful things.
This morning I was also super privileged to share in my home church here in Sapporo. I did about two minutes of speaking by myself in Japanese… And then my most wonderful friend Tomoko translated the rest.
She was truly awesome… I have so much love for her!
And it was a truly blessed time this morning.
My church here has two services so I shared at both (which also meant Donna and Becca sat through a total of about 4 hours of Japanese church…) In so many ways, I felt Holy Spirit so very close… And was again just reminded of the overwhelming faithfulness of a God who has done everything to be close to us.
It was funny, but honestly, I was way more nervous about the two minutes I was going to speak in Japanese in front of my church than the following way-longer-amount-of-time that was being translated.
I mean, it's one thing speaking my bad Japanese in front my good friends or those who can help me out when I falter in general conversation… It's another thing standing up at the front of a full church with hundreds of faces staring back at you.
That was so way out of my comfort zone.
So thank you Jesus that you held it all, and me, together… 🙂
And thank you that being out of our comfort zone is where we often do the growing that You desire for us.
Yesterday at the festival I was thinking about this. We were passing stand after stand of food sellers. Different nationalities. Different stalls. Different outfits. Different musicians. Different dancers. Crazy people. Thousands and thousands of crazy people.
And the stalls that were selling the most of their frappe/food/BBQ/random selection of items… Were the stalls which were being run by those willing to get out of their comfort zones.
Way out of their comfort zones.
Some stalls were quiet. Those running them sat within, quietly waiting for customers.
But some stalls were buzzing. Those being run by the crazy folk in fancy dress or bill boards or those shouting from the street corners. Those who would chase you down the street with free samples and pose for photos and embrace the festivities in all their fullness.
Those stalls being run by people willing to get out of their comfort zone.
It's a challenge to me in how I live as a Christian.
A good one.
Because I want to live a life radiant of Jesus, and I long to live a life that reflects Him…. But oftentimes that involves me being uncomfortable.
Leaving the comfort zone behind.
For the sake of Him who left everything behind for us.
To be so full of the Holy Spirit that He radiates from every step. To be so desperate to see the lost meet Jesus that I make the food sellers on those festival stalls seem like quiet, reserved individuals, and that I embrace this journey of life and love in all it's fullness.
That's my prayer for us today.
That we would run to Him and for Him.
I love the God who has blessed me so much more than I could ever express.
Jesus is beautiful.
And this has been the last few days….
The beautiful Hakodate…