But it was truth. Undoubtedly one of the biggest strongholds in my life is striving. I have always been a hard worker, doing more than necessary, taking on responsibility that is not mine to take on, trying to find identity in what I do. You know what sucks about that? It is sin. Yeah, crazy, huh?
Our world is very much performance-based, but we are called to be in the world but not of the world. Those in Christ no longer have to serve American culture or Japanese culture, but we get to participate in Kingdom-culture, which is not about earning our salvation but resting in it! Romans 4 says, "Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness." Without Christ, we have no ability to do anything good and all of our righteous acts are filthy rags. So this is the thing: if wages are what are credited to us when we work, then all we are owed is death because of our unrighteous acts. But when we rest in God, trust in God, put faith in God, it is credited as righteousness! How awesome is that!
Matthew 11:28-30 also tells us about rest: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Christ tells us that when we take His yoke, we will find rest. What is better than finding rest in Christ?
Now, the catch is resting does not mean we do not do anything. The pure fact of taking on a yoke is work, but what we must understand it is about partnering with the Father to accomplish His purpose. Christ Himself partnered with the Father to do the Father's work. Satan wants us to be performance-based, to either be passive and do nothing or strive and try to do everything. But the Father calls us to rest, to abide, to not be anxious about anything, but to trust Him. And when we do that, we allow Him to move!
With that said, I was in need of a "holiday", so yesterday, I went to Mount Takao (pronounced taco) by myself, and hiked to the top. It was a great way to spend the day, and I got the needed break from the DTS House. The train ride there was about an hour and a half, about thirty miles away from the house. It is still considered to be within the metropolis, yet you can actually see trees and mountains! Here are some pictures from the trip:
|View from the next to last station from the mountain.|
|The building in the back is the station for the chairlift up the mountain. The trail-head for the trail I took is to its left.|
|Mount Takao has been a center for mountain worship for the past 1000 years for Shinto-Buddhist gods, so it was covered with shrines and temples. I took this picture while walking by.|
|Although this is not a picture of them, I am pretty sure I passed the local hiking club on their way back from cleaning up the trails. I did enjoy how nice the people were on the trail!|
|Nature!!! And not concrete!!!|
|It was sunny when I left the house that morning. You are supposed to be able to see Fuji from here...|
|The natural thing to do after summiting a mountain: eat ice cream! It was deliciously cool. And super expensive...|
|This cat is drinking water.|
|And the group that gathered when the cat did so. They freaked...|
|The Chacos did well!|
|This picture reminded me of the Matrix. Either that or it looks like they are farming apartment buildings.|
|I took the chairlift back down the mountain. It was worth it!|
|Do you like the hazy effect? I had just blown something off my lens!|
|Very direct. And helpful.|
|Yes, I enjoyed utilizing it! (Since this is an example of a "mistranslation", another one I saw that day was "Impossible is Nothing" on an Adidas shirt. I cracked up! I have also seen a shirt with each spelled as "ehich"...)|
|Back at the foot!|
The day was a really active day for me honestly! After waking up that morning and jogging ~6 km to Shibuya Station, I went to the mountain and hiked over 4 km (3.1 km up on Trail #6, at least 1 km down to the chairlift), but I loved it! I totally fell asleep on the train coming back for a few minutes (the train I was on was awesome, too. It only stopped like 5 times over the course of an hour. Most trains I am on stop every 2 to 4 minutes). Hopefully I will make it back with some friends on a clear day, or better yet, I'll go to Mount Fuji!!!