I have now been in Singapore for over a year, and one of the things I have enjoyed the most is learning about the different cultures that surround me. I have visited the Malay heritage centre, Indian heritage centre, eaten Peranakan food and made mooncakes. All these cultural experiences and conversations about culture have lead me to reflect on my journey of understanding culture.
Despite growing up in a multi-cultural community where I learnt Maori at school, I didn’t really come to understand about language and culture until I was an exchange student in the USA. During my year away I saw that although I could communicate in English, it didn’t mean the American person I was speaking to understood what I was saying in the same way that I did. I realised that those who learn the language of a culture actually learn about the culture at the same time.
The busyness of life seems to plague every aspect of our modern existence, and this is not limited to those in the urban centres of East Asia. Everywhere you look, people are in the rat race, rarely resting and never stopping to consider the weightier questions of life. Recently I was struck with this very simple truth. We can fill our lives up doing a lot of things, but there is only one thing that has an everlasting impact, and that is to involve ourselves in the mission of God. We might only be sowing and watering, but the lives that are touched by our obedience become our legacy.