I have found myself reminded regularly during visits to historical churches of Matthew 21 when Jesus cleanses the temple. It said something to the effect of the house of worship had become a den of thieves. Both here and in the Philippines it was blatantly obvious that local entrepreneurs we taking advantage of the popular tourist attraction as a place to make an honest buck. But is it really an honest buck? I must also back track and say that it seems that only Christian churches and Hindu temples have supported the prior observations. From my own visits to mosques I have found them to be the exception.
After spending a weekend wandering the city with no intentions or expectations, only anticipation; I discovered the uncanny. In the midst of the hustle and bustle of public transit I found myself comfortable. This comfort was and continues to be the point to which all my thoughts and experiences have originated from and returned to. My home has become wherever I am at any one time. During my time here my home is not just where a bed I have paid for lies. It moves with every step I take.
My final insight gained during my time in Malaysia relates to the country and it’s people as they relate to the rest of the world (and how the rest of the world relates to them). Although I have traveled outside of Canada in the past, I just now am realizing the impact of North America around the world. The customs we were taught before this trip only seem to be practiced, predominately, among the older generations of people. It seems to me, without overgeneralizing the notion and realizing that this is not a universal statistic but only based on my own observations in an urban setting, that language is the only major factor separating one culture from another; although many minor factors exist as well. Globalization has spared no expense in reaching southeast Asia. It has become apparent how easy it s to stay within my own western culture whilst in another country. The temptation to surround myself with my familiar culture by eating and hanging around westernized landmarks such as malls is at times too sweet to pass up.
By pushing myself to surpass my own culture, as best as one can, and embrace another’s culture, without infringement, I have begun to rise to the challenge of the great commission and Saint Francis ” preach the gospel always, and if necessary, use words.”