Friday, January 23, 2009

“Same, Same but Different” / “This World is not our Home.” (An attempt at a song!)

(for facebook friends – see this entry in bigger print on my blog: www.elizabethstories.blogspot.com)
So, I was writing an email to my cousin yesterday and was just rambling away again about life in general, and how this life here is different, and yet similar, and yet different. And how does one go about living life in such extremes.

A common expression in Asia is, “same-same, but different.” The explanation I have gotten for this is that it’s a back-packer’s term. When they travel around Asia to different countries, their conclusions are, “Everywhere is the same-same. But different.” I’ve come to realize the same truth. America, India, Malaysia, Turkey, etc, etc – they are so much the same, and yet, very very different. Perhaps since I’ve more time than a back-packer living in a just one particular context, so my statement might be backwards, and thus reinforce how different the places are. I might say “they are different-different, but also the same.”

But it is true, people are people everywhere in the world. They have the same needs, the same wants and desires. And yet, for a foreigner, coming in, especially for the first time, it seems as if it’s another world altogether. No matter what you say or do, it doesn’t make sense, and its difficult adjusting. I am thankful for the two years I spent in India, getting through some of these initial difficulties. And honestly, while I still struggle with the differences from time to time, He has graciously helped me realize in a very real way the truth that ‘this world is not our home.’

As I thought about that for the hundredth time this morning, I got inspired to write a song (or at least the lyrics – anyone know how to put it to music?). I’ve never written a song before, and really don’t know how to write one, but here’s an attempt below.

It is not exactly what I feel now, having lived here for a while, but it would very aptly describe what I felt during the first few months of overseas work a few years ago.

This song is dedicated to those who have gone and experienced a cross-cultural life in a way that no song can describe. It is also dedicated to those who are planning to follow His leading to another time, another place, and another world. May we all remember, and find comfort knowing, ‘this world is not our home.’

This world is not our home (EJW)
Once you knew your home, your street, your world
You knew how to live, how to work, how to play.
Now you’re scared, but also excited. Most of all so unsure,
Everything is different, as night and day

This place is unlike any place you’ve ever known
Were you transplanted to another world?

…And you don’t see…

Chorus:
This world is not our home
That much is clear
We were made for another,
Another time, another place, another world
One day we’ll get there.
This world is not our home.

You thought you knew how to speak, how to dress
Now everything you say and do is misunderstood
You want to fit in, you want to make friends,
But nothing works, you tried everything you could.

This place is unlike any place you’ve ever known
Were you transplanted to another world?

…Could it really be…

Chorus:
This world is not our home
That much is clear
We were made for another
Another time, another place, another world
One day we’ll get there.
This world is not our home

Bridge: Then one day, you wake up and find
You can get along, you can understand,
You haven’t reached perfection,
But you are content
Knowing that, one day you will go home.
He will take us home.

…Now you can clearly see...

Chorus:
This world is not our home
That much is clear
We were made for another
Another time, another place, another world
One day we’ll get there.
This world is not our home

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