Saturday, January 07, 2006

devos in the shade of the great Buddha

Ahh. Finally a day to myself, away from the city, the responsibilities of school, and the well intentioned (and greatly appreciated) but sometimes too focused attention of my parents. For my great escape, I've chosen Kamakura, the former capital of Japan during the Tokugawa shogunate, and also the center of Zen Buddhism in Japan. You'd think this might be a nice place to calm my thoughts and have a nice relaxing day.

So here I find my self sitting in the shade of a 40 foot, 800 year old bronze Buddha statue feeling anything but inner peace. I don’t quite know how to feel when at a Buddhist temple (or Shinto shrine for that matter) in Japan. They sure know how to create a relaxing environment around here. Surrounded by beautiful trees, fresh mountain air, running streams and a symphony of wild birds makes it easy to want to clear your head and find inner enlightenment. It’s also easy to forget that this site is a focal point for a worldview that sends thousands of people to hell each year. How can I feel peaceful in a place so dark? Am I that spiritually insensitive? When Paul saw the idolatry of Athens he was sick to his stomach (Act 17:16). Or maybe I’m not insensitive. Maybe today the beauty of God’s general revelation far outshines the darkness of Satan’s special revelation. Maybe it’s not wrong to enjoy this peacefulness.

Nevertheless, life is not about finding inner peace just for the sake of finding it, or pleasure for the sake of pleasure. Today isn’t about having “me” time. It’s not about recharging my batteries so I can do more things for myself. It’s about “God” time. It’s about meditating on Him, not myself. I won’t find the answer within, just more confusion. It’s about recharging my batteries today so I’m ready for what He has for me tomorrow. I just wonder if its counter productive to do my devotionals at a Buddhist temple.




1 comment:

ajlin said...

john said:
"Maybe today the beauty of God’s general revelation far outshines the darkness of Satan’s special revelation."

That's a great statement! I'll probably use this quote sometime.