Oh, man, it’s great having the original Digidestined back! As much as Digimon Adventure Tri. drags in lots of places, it’s still wonderful to see Taichi, Yamato, Sora, and all the rest again, to see how they changed and how they haven’t, and to view how their relationships with each other have developed over time. And it’s been especially good to revisit my favorite character from the show again (aka ME):
Jyou Kido, however, doesn’t get a lot of screen time in the first movie. And he misses all the action. Why? Because he’s studying so hard to get into college, presumably to continue down his family path of becoming a doctor.
Wait…this whole scenario sounds really familiar…
Having been around Asian churches most of my life, and having attended specifically an Asian-American church for the past 15ish years, I can say that Jyou’s drive is very similar to that of many Asian-American college students. Reared by parents to become something successful (often meaning to become a physician), that becomes the primary goal. It tops everything, consuming our time, thoughts, and resources.
But isn’t church supposed to be different? Doesn’t the Christian faith teach that Christ is supposed to be above all and over all, and that everything else comes beneath?
Unfortunately, we often struggle with putting Christ first. For driven Asian-American students, that means studies supersede faith. While they sing praise songs on Sunday, many spend the rest of their week trying to go down a path that will yield them career satisfaction, acknowledgement from parents and peers, and lots of money.
That doesn’t sound like the gospel message at all.
I think if you were to question yourself and why you selected such-and-such path for your life, you might discover that God had nothing to do with that decision. And worse yet, you might be clinging onto something that values all the things of this world, when we know that the ruler of this world is not the ruler we claim to follow.
I know it’s not an easy thing to do, to move away from the course we’ve set for ourselves (or that has been set for us by parents and culture), but it’s imperative that we get to that point. Especially when it comes to career, the choices we make can free us to love God more or limit us in how we can reach out to others. While medicine is a worthy career and I have no doubt that God would place many of his people in that arena, I also believe that just because you’re an Asian who is also a good student, you’re not automatically meant to be a doctor.
Until we’re able to put enough faith in Christ to trust that God’s will is better than our own, that his riches are more meaningful than those we can make, that reaching out to the lost is more important than satisfying self, we’ll be like Jyou, missing out on the important things in life because we’re reaching for something we’ve deemed more significant.
You’re destined for something great. Surrender your life – even the parts that you or others have constructed – and you’ll begin to see the adventure that God has in store for you.
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7 thoughts on “What Does God Want You to Do, Jyou Kido?”
As the son of immigrants who’s grown up around the kids of immigrants, I really relate to this. When your parents come here from their home country for the express purpose of giving you more opportunities than they had, the pressure to do really well can sometimes drown out even your own desires or wants. Thankfully, my parents have been seeking God’s will for my future alongside me, and I’m ready for whatever He’ll bring my way. 🙂
Good for you and your parents! I’m glad to hear it, Sam.
Interesting post. Here are my thoughts:
“Doesn’t the Christian faith teach that Christ is supposed to be above all and over all, and that everything else comes beneath?
Unfortunately, we often struggle with putting Christ first. For driven Asian-American students, that means studies supersede faith. While they sing praise songs on Sunday, many spend the rest of their week trying to go down a path that will yield them career satisfaction.”
I suppose I lack context for what you mean. Because…I can’t even psychologically separate my work, my pleasure, and my God. I watch anime and video games to a certain extent to commune with my God, trying to find “him” in the show, longing for his presence, for even a few more minutes “with him.” I’m less trying to run from him and more trying to run TO him— His very existence satisfies my soul.
My work is built on my belief that I can change the system from inside it, and that “normal” and “right” are illusions, that ALL people of whatever race or creed or neurology are worthy of respect— But these ideas are inevitably entangled with my spirituality. I’m doing it for me, but also for him—- Trying to embody the highest, most noble thing that He is rather than the most wicked and depraved.
To me it’s….simply not even a comprehensible idea that I would be trying to obtain a goal that didn’t in some way relate to my worldview, other than maybe living independently and successfully. I’m no immigrant, and I can’t claim to really understand the clash between immigrant success values and Christian values.
But isn’t it possible to dedicate your actions, however divorced from church and candles and the Bible, to God, and worship Him through those actions? Like Doctor Tenma and Monster, choosing to be a doctor to help people rather than to achieve personal success.
Yeah, you’ve hit the nail on the head. This is precisely how Christians should live their lives – not with some divorce between worship and real life, but with a life of worship, in that all which we do is for Christ. But for whatever reason (and usually for a variety of them), many Christians (most?) have difficulty in living lives that revolve around their creator, and so when things like “what career should I do?” come up, it becomes easy to separate that question from obedience and surrender, when it should have been part of living out one’s faith for that individual all along.
Great post. I find that I can relate to what you’ve said but also to what Luminas shared. Since I was not brought up in the faith but instead came to it as an adult later in life, my sudden new-found passion in Christ caused me to let go of everything that I had been previously pursuing for myself, in exchange for pursuing Him and Him alone. This included the job path I had been on, and all the opportunities the world had to offer me based on the education I was given. At the time, my Asian parents, who had also become Christian long before I did, were so relieved I’d found Christ that they weren’t too bothered by this. However, as time went on, the inevitable pressure to get a “respectable” and “normal” job and life came not only from them, but also from the rest of society and even, sometimes, from my own subconscious.
Like Luminas, I feel intrinsically unable to separate anything I do from my love and pursuit of Christ. I too understand “normal” and “right” to be illusions set in place by the world, and that is why I now live a life that does not look at all normal or right to the rest of the world, because I live by faith. It looks crazy. It looks foolish. It looks, as my parents might say, completely unstable. And that’s why, like you, I understand the incredible amount of pressure that one can feel from all this. You see, if God had called me to be a missionary, I could at least rest comfortably in the laurels of self-satisfaction knowing that my parents and my Christian (and even some non-Christian) peers all find it a good and respectable calling. But when God calls me to live by faith in such a way that even fellow Christians might think it seems too radical, pointless, or, from a typical Asian parent’s perspective, just downright lazy, that’s when it gets hard.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that, even when you’ve reached that epiphany point where you realize, “Wow, none of what I’ve been pursuing actually matters, because what really matters is Him,” and even when God gives you the grace to let go of all the things you were hanging onto in order to walk a new path in the direction He is calling you, the fight doesn’t stop there. There will always be things coming up to test you on your decision, things that will try to make you second guess what you’re doing and wonder if you heard God right, and whether you are really doing all this for Him or if you just got it all wrong somehow. But it’s all part of the process of strengthening our faith–just as gold must go through the fire to be purified and refined, so must we. And in the end, our faith is made pure and perfect, because all of our doubts–about ourselves, about our lives, about God–are finally purged out. And what a glorious day that will be. 🙂
Well, to be completely honest, while all of the above I stated about me is true I’m not actually Christian. 🙂 The “god” I am talking about is more than likely an angel species-wise in your religion. I still feel reasonably okay talking about what it’s like to be devoted to a God though, because in my own faith I am absolutely, unequivocally devout. If such things are defined by worship and love.
With that said, I know a man— My sister’s husband— Who feels exactly the same way I do, except about Jesus. His faith and his research into genetics are inseparable, because what’s really driving him is an insatiable desire to understand the glory of God in His creation. His level of smitten-ness never ceases to amaze me, like he fell in love with God yesterday. It might annoy my folks, but I completely understand the sentiment behind it.
Thank you, again, for sharing! I hope others – particularly Asian-Americans – will read and be encouraged by your response.