I spent most of my life living in Marietta, Georgia. To be more specific, I was reared in a part of town that was known to be home of more than one “East Cobb snob”. Not that it was planned this way, but the area was predominantly inhabited by Caucasian white collar families. The students went to Lassiter, the parents went to church and the families played at the neighborhood tennis courts.
When I finally moved away from home (for good this time), I moved just a little north of Marietta to Alpharetta. I got settled into one of my many apartments and began to take in my new surroundings. I do not want what I’m about to say to sound discriminating in any way, but, a fact is a fact: Alpharetta is booming with Indian culture! Everywhere I looked, Indian women were walking around. Every store that I shopped at, Indian culture was prominent. Parts of Alpharetta are specifically designed to cater to this culture and that just always confused me.
It is not that being surrounded by a differing culture was in any way a problem, it was just surprising. Out of all the areas to encounter this situation, I never would have expected Fulton county Alpharetta to be where it would happen. Maybe it’s my naïveté. Maybe it is my inexperience. But, I really began to consider myself a foreigner in my own town.
“If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own.” - NIV
As Christians, we must make our relationship with Christ our foremost preoccupation, yes, but we must also be aware of our relationship with the world in turn. From time to time, we must ask ourselves whether we are living as citizen of heaven in a foreign land, or as citizen of this world looking forward to a foreign kingdom.
No matter how we look at it, the culture clash between the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of this world can be frustrating. What we must remember, and take heart in, is that we are foreigners: Foreigners who treasure nothing more than our foreign citizenship. This difference, this distinction, is evidence of our relationship with the eternal Son of God.
It is impossible to keep in step with this God and not be out of step with the world.