So I’m back in Japan. The team and I arrived Tuesday evening so we’ve been here about 48 hours now. Jet-lag has (I hope) more or less done it’s worse and we’re orientated and ready to go.
(Quick recap: I’m leading a group of 4 folk from the UK to help run gospel music summer camps for a couple of churches here in Tokyo.)
It feels weird being back in Japan. Mainly because it doesn’t feel weird.
Before you start thinking this is a sign that jet-lag really hasn’t worn off yet, let me explain.
I feel at home here. It just feels… normal, like it makes sense for me to be here. More than I thought it would. Much more.
You see I’ve become quite comfortable living in England. And over the last 3 years I’ve come to quite enjoy London. It’s a great city. And I have great friends there. In short, I love loving in the UK. I had thought that this would make leaving to come out to Japan really hard. That Japan would feel a bit weird. But it doesn’t feel weird. Not at all.
Sure my Japanese language skills are still lacking, so there’s some signs and stuff that I don’t fully understand. But even when Japanese doesn’t make sense to me, being in Japan does. All the normal Japanese stuff – vending machines, traffic cops, checkout niceties, eating with chopsticks, bathroom slippers – it just seems, well, normal.
Now I’m sure that when I come out here long-term (at the end of this year if all goes to plan) it’ll be tough. Saying goodbye to folk for 3 weeks isn’t quite the same as leaving for 4 years.
But all the same, I’m sure that when I come out here to live it won’t feel like I’m leaving home. It’ll feel like I’m coming home. (I know that’s cheesy. I’ve got over it: I’m sure you will too.)
Anywho, I’m telling you this because it helps answer a question that I sometimes get asked,
“Do you feel called to Japan?”
I never knew how to answer this question. Mainly because I didn’t know what it felt like to be ‘called’ somewhere. To be honest, I think often the person asking the question doesn’t know either. In fact other people ask,
“How do you know you’re called to Japan?”
Maybe I’ll attempt a fuller answer at some point (I’m learning never to promise to blog about a topic unless you pretty much have the post already written!) but for now I can say this,
I feel more at home in Japan than I can give reason for.
So now I feel fairly confident that yes, I have been ‘called’ to Japan. The thing is that I wouldn’t have got to this point unless I’d come out here when I wasn’t very sure.
But maybe that’s how it works. Maybe you don’t need an overwhelming fascination with anime and an unstoppable urge for sushi to be ‘called’ to Japan.
Maybe you don’t need to wait until you feel ‘called’ to a certain place until you go there. Maybe you won’t know if you should go until you actually do.
What about you? Is there somewhere you definitely feel ‘called’ to? Or is there somewhere that you should maybe just go and check out, and see if it feels comfortable?