If you ever needed a visual definition of culture shock, here’s the photo:
I actually love this photo. It makes me laugh even though it represents a very uncomfortable moment in time. This was the morning after my family’s first night in Papua New Guinea. It was a night of all sorts of new and uncomfortable things.
To begin with, there were roaches the size of my hand. Then there was the crash course on how electricity is not the same worldwide. But the most uncomfortable thing of all was the lady screaming at our window throughout the night.
We were not in Kansas anymore. Life had changed and we were discovering how to live in our uncomfortable new normal.
Today, we are living in an uncomfortable new normal. When we get out of quarantine, it is going to be different and we are going to need to discover how to live in the new normal. It’s going to be a culture shock of sorts. But remember, some of the best Bible stories are about people who faced culture shock and became cultural influencers (think Daniel, Esther, Nehemiah).
This is what we as Christians are called to do. We are called to face the new and the different through the power of Christ in us (Philippians 4:13) so we can impact our culture. It may be an uncomfortable mission with unfamiliar sights and sounds, but God will always be with us and will give us the wisdom we need.
Hebrews 13:5b “…I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”
James 1:5 “If any of you lace wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not: and it shall be given him.”
I and my family did eventually settle into our new normal in PNG. I actually loved living there when I was a kid and I’m grateful God let me have this uncomfortable moment as a part of my story. My hope is that you will also be grateful for the uncomfortable moments in your story as God leads you through them. Those moments are full of purpose. God doesn’t waste any part of any story.
-by Shaleena Quinlan