Well, what a day it was – yesterday I spoke in my parents’ church in Utrecht. It went well, hopefully I was able to convey my message on drive, identity and action, based on John 13:1-6. I like this passage, especially verse 3-4, where it says that Jesus knew that He had been handed everything by the Father, that He came from God and that He would return to God – He knew his past, his present and his future. Together with his love for his friends, He did what He did – wash their feet and a couple of hours later die for them… Read my notes (in Dutch, sorry).
Afterwards, we came together to prepare for my sisters wedding. Of course I can’t explain what we did 🙂 but we sure had a lot of fun. This might be one of those things where preparation is more fun that execution… but I think it will be fun on the wedding, too.
When we got home I watched ‘Peking Express’, currently in Mongolia. It brought back many memories from our time there. I was moved to see those Mongolian faces, the gers, the typical nature with steppes and distant mountains, the vastness of it… Sadly enough, ther show and the candidates engaged in buddhist rites and traditions. Although this has much cultural value (beautiful colors, buildings, et cetera), on a spiritual level it is dangerous, I think. Is it by accident that right there, in a buddhist monastery, candidate Elias freaked out completely (right after he was ‘blessed’ by a monk)? I believe Mongolia is a spiritual stronghold of buddhism, something I experienced personally while being in Kharkhorun, the former capital in the times of Ghengis Khan. This place has the biggest buddhist monastery of the country. The church over there is really struggling; in the three days we were there, we saw people freaking out in the church yard, drunks, even dogs ‘bullying’ the church yard.
Anyhow, it was great to see something from Mongolia. The Mongolian culture is at times hard to understand; you can’t tell from people’s faces what they think. And yet, as some of the couples found out, they are friendly and hospitable; finding a place to stay at night was much easier than thought with the nomadic Mongolians.
I also learned another lesson: you just can’t be too shy. One couple had to leave the race, because they were to shy to get themselves in a car. I am curious to know who will be the ones to go to Beijing: the impertinent, the smart, or the charming?