Hot Dogs and Rice (2 Corinthians 5:17)

When I was a fourth year medical student, I was privileged to do family practice in Micronesia. I lived in an apartment building housing several other international workers. My immediate neighbors were a Burmese man named Win and a Malaysian man named Basuran. We became fast friends and agreed to meet every dinner to share in the culinary cuisines of our respective countries. Win and Basuran were excited to prepare Burmese and Malaysian delicacies. And because I am of Japanese ethnicity, they were eager to sample some Japanese delicacies. So when I served them hot dogs and rice, they were a bit perplexed and cautiously inquired, “Is this what Japanese people eat?”

“Oh yes! We eat this all the time!”

“Wow, somehow we thought Japanese food would be different!”

At the end of our time together, I confided to both of them that I didn’t know how to cook and this was the only food I knew how to prepare. “This was not authentic Japanese food, just food that this Japanese person liked to eat”, I told them.

They smiled, nodded, and said, “We know!”

This was not the first or last time that I pretended to be someone I was not. For most of my life, I felt compelled to live up to the expectations of others and create a facade of self-confidence and assuredness. But it was not me. And I was unwilling to just let people see and accept me for who I really was.

God has been patient and merciful to me and has slowly allowed me to let go of many of these false pretenses, allowing others to see me as I really am. It is still painful and I have a long journey ahead.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
2 Corinthians 5:17

When I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, God began a transformation of my very being, a transformation that continues to this very moment. God has helped me to understand that I am a new creation through Him. I no longer have to be someone who I am not. I need only be the person that God wants me to be.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Blessings with Aloha!