Croatia, July 13

Sunday, July 13

On the docket was sailboating and parasailing.  Both got cancelled due to the high winds.  Instead we beat the snot out of each other on paddle boats in the middle of the Adriatic Sea.  The hotel next to us had this cool little water play set…that big mountain in the middle is about 20 feet in the air. I was about to tackle it but they charge something ridiculous to use it.

Of course when you are in a foreign country – the money is all relative. When I pay for something here – their dollar is called “kuna” – I feel like I’m using monopoly money and singing “Akuna Matata.” Stupid American thing, I guess. The pic below this one is your typical coast on the Adriatic sea.

Water Park in Peninsula
Rocky Beach

Evening session
I think it was the best so far.

We started by asking the questions – how do you see yourself?  What is home?  Are you an American in Croatia/Slovakia/Fill In The Blank or a Fill In The Blank that happens to have American citzenship?

What was interesting in the answers was this – just like American teens – they don’t really feel like they fit anywhere except with other teens. Culture plays a HUGE role in determining their identity – what is cool, what isn’t, what to wear, what to listen to.

What in your culture do you love?  What is hard to embrace in your culture given your relationship with Jesus?

National pride came up quite a bit.  All of these European countries have LOADS of it.  It is both great and terrible.

We then shifted to John 9 where Jesus spits on the ground to make mud to put on the blind guy’s face.

I stole Erwin McManus’ line when he spoke about this story – “The guy is blind….not deaf.”

Would you allow someone to spit on the ground to make mudballs to put on your eyes?  Would a Jew allow someone to put their spit on them?  Mud on them?

Most of us answered ‘no.’ Wasn’t because we lacked faith as much as we were too proud to let someone put their saliva on us. It’s insulting to our dignity. The only way what Jesus did was NOT insulting? If He was really God and really formed us from dust to start with. And unless we can see at the end of this exercise. So why in the world would a hearing, blind man allow Jesus to do this?

He’s trading his dignity, his identity for whatever Jesus has.  That’s the key to dealing with culture.  Are you willing to trade whatever dignity or identity you have for whatever Jesus has?  You may get to keep some of it. You may not. We don’t get to make that call…He does. He may demand some of it to be cut off.

But do you love and want Jesus that much?

It’s one question we all have to answer for ourselves – parents can’t make it for us. Even if they moved us halfway around the globe for Him.


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