Those Days

Didn’t get a good sleep last night though it wasn’t too bad. When the alarm rang at 6am today, I thought to myself, “I used to wake up at 5.30am everyday for school. This is not bad; at least I get another half an hour of sleep.”

Reached the meeting point on the dot. Waiting for the car to arrive.

It suddenly struck me that this feels like one of those mornings I’m excited for something. Though I suspect it’s because of the adrenaline rush from the lack of sleep, like my body usually does to get me through the day when I don’t get enough sleep. But yeah, it does feel like one of those mornings I used to wake up early to travel all the way to the east for the church’s youth camps. There’s a tinge of excitement.

I do miss feeling this way. To be looking forward to something. Those days, I looked forward to spending extended time with my friends, as well as to sit at my pastor’s feet (literally) and learn from the Word of God. To await the moment that God would come and speak, and turn my life around.

I miss having a community like that.

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Those Days

Haste Makes Waste

I remember there was this year during a church conference, God gave me a vision as I was worshipping Him. It was a vision of me busy figuring how out to capture the scenery before me. I was so busy with my camera that I neglected to enjoy what was before me. I was then told to take a pause and enjoy it for what it is; don’t miss the moment.

I guess this vision kinda became quite literal and apparent to me during one of my trips last year. I was in Taiwan with a friend and we had a pair of mushrooms that glow in the dark. The minsu owner very kindly lent me his tripod because he saw that I had a DSLR in my hands and figured that I’m into photography. My friend and I brought the mushrooms back to our room. While she watched videos on her phone, there I was trying to figure out the settings on the camera to get the best shot. Switched on the lights, switched off the lights, got the torch, hit that button, rearrange my set-up, google for photography tips – put these on repeat. When I was finally satisfied, I asked her what time it was and was surprised to find out that 2 hours had gone past. Sorry heh.

That, though, made me realise there is some truth to that vision.

Fast forward to the recent episode of the ankle injury. Other than forcing me to take a break, it certainly taught me to slow down. 

Initially, I treated it as a joke when I thought to myself that I learnt that not all things can be rushed, such as buses and trains. So many times I’ve watched them pass me by right before my eyes. Yet there’s nothing I could do unless I don’t mind falling flat on my face. And even if I wanted to run for them, I could only afford to limp further with each step.

And these few days, when I put my phone down to spend time with God, I would be close to close off in prayer and pick up my phone again in less than 15 minutes. Quite a few times I thought I heard God saying to me, can’t you just wait? Okay, I can… (less than a minute later) So what am I supposed to think about or do right now? You know my mind will drift right?

And then back to my activities. If I couldn’t slow down last time, I think it has gotten worse.

I got off crutches lately, over the time I spent with my grandparents in Ipoh. Slightly before that, I started practising walking without aid and without limping. The extended (because I need not travel on my own and hence not need a crutch) practice in Ipoh helped me to be more confident and comfortable in walking. 

After the Ipoh trip, I began to pick up pace. December – I have just a month and a half left to have my ankle ready for long hikes and swims in the sea in Thailand. I got to recover as quickly as I can. It hurts less in the day and as much as I can, I try to walk without limping and quickly. My ankle often ended up hurting at night after walking too much by the end of the day.

Just this afternoon, I stood up and felt a sharp pain on my knee when I placed my weight on that injured foot. I thought it would go away after some time – you know like how sometimes our body has random but temporary pains? But it didn’t after an hour, and it got me worried. I googled and found out that apparently, a bad ankle injury can lead to injuries on the knee as it tries to compensate for what the ankle cannot do. This is not funny anymore man. And this has to happen just 4 days after my appointment with the specialist that I’ve waited 2 months for.

But yes, once again, it’s another reminder to slow down. Feel the pain, take time to nurse that injury.

Also coincided with the (recent) constant reminder to take time to feel the heartache, to acknowledge it, and take time to nurse it.

It seems like learning to slow down has been a long journey for me. Time and again, I’m reminded to slow down and take time. Physically, emotionally, spiritually. I just keep feeling the need to be doing something, to be occupied. Slow down, yes I will try. Tried walking real slow from church to the train station just now.

O God, I pray that the pains in the ankle and in the knee will not stay with me. I love and I cherish my active lifestyle and I want to get back to it. Heal me, I pray! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Haste Makes Waste

To belong

To belong is one of those things that every human desires, regardless of who you are and where you are from – a thought from 5 December 2015.

And the lack of which, makes involvement a dread. In a way, it feels like an obligation – an obligation amidst many others.

“For God’s sake” feels like a more difficult declaration lately. Dragged my feet on Sunday, only to turn around and head in the other direction. Still to service, but not with the bunch I told myself I would try be with that day.

When the thought of doing life together feels more like a desire, and far from reality. Sigh. I wish, I really do wish, that every LG day and service day are days that I look forward to each week. It’s been a long while.

Or maybe it’s just me. The problem’s always with me, isn’t it? Or at least even if the problem’s not with me, there’s nothing I can do about it. So the problem has got to be with me. Overcome it, oi.

To belong

Faith

A friend asked about the purpose of baptism in a group chat just the other day. To my surprise, these Christian guys whom I last remembered as playful boys gave convincing replies. I was bought over by what they presented as well. Apparently, they had thought long and hard over it.

That made me question my faith. Where am I on this journey? I don’t think I’m anywhere close to talking about it in such a manner. How well do I actually know my Bible? Not much, really.

Thankful that I have Christian friends outside my own church though. They help me to see beyond the bubble called “my church” and spurs me on, each in their own ways.

On another note, I need to learn to present truths to others with gentleness and not so in their face. I do love, but let love be communicated outwards the way it exists within.

Faith

Love again

Was reminded of how Jesus loves me during service today. Unreservedly. He knew that I may never acknowledge Him, yet He chose to die for me.

This has been a lesson for me since last year. To love, to love, to love – that’s what God has been teaching me through the example that Christ led. Along the way, I probably thought that okay, learnt this, and I forgot to look at it again when circumstance turned around recently. Been trying to not get so invested again, lest I go through another bout of pain. In fact, I kept the pain as a reminder to be on guard. Funny thing was, when the reminder came, it wasn’t even during the sermon but just part of the service chair’s speech.

And this line from JPCC’s None Like You resonated with me as well: For God You are my strong foundation. Something clicked as we sang that line. I suddenly recalled what one of the speakers shared during a finance talk held in church. He shared that he saved up a million dollars in CPF, and because it’s secured (and reaping him high interest rates), he can invest the rest of his money with greater confidence. Even if he should lose his investment, he knows that he has the amount in his CPF to tide him through retirement. In a weird way (weird is an understatement I know), what CPF provides for him is like the strong foundation that we have in God – if we do it right by having God as our anchor.

Love boldly, invest all you can in people. That’s what I got out of it. Interestingly, I’ve always looked upon the time I spend with people as an investment in their lives since I was 12. Not so much the part of getting back something from them, but the part of giving unto their lives. The fruits, I guess, will be refreshment from the time spent with them.

It also somewhat answers a question I had amidst the struggle I had a few months back – how am I to love people while bearing in mind that they will fail me and only God is faithful. If they should fail you, so be it. Deal with the pain, but know that you’ve not lost everything you have, because your strong foundation is in God. Love again.

Tough lesson to swallow, to be honest.

Love again

Froze

So it was time for us to walk in. Took my high chair, picked up my guitar. Preview came on and we bent over so that we would not block the audience’s view.

Just 10 minutes before, someone pointed out that I was still not getting it right. I didn’t have time to get it right.

We kept our heads down. While waiting for Preview to end, I felt something rising from within. That’s anxiety, I think. 

Get out of it, come on, get out of it. Breathe, what’s next, what shall I do to get out of this…

Suddenly, I got shaken out of it. Wilson whispered and tried to calm me down. It’s just that one song. Well, I don’t know what he noticed since I wasn’t even sure what had seized me, but I guess something showed.

That’s the first time I’ve ever experienced that. It felt like something inside was close to breaking down unless I quickly snapped out of it. I didn’t find the way to, but thankfully I got shaken out of it.

They came on stage, decided to swap the songs around. That song was going to come first instead. Took a glance at Wilson, took a deep breath, let’s do it.

They said it was a good job. I don’t know if it really was, but thankful for how God brought me through the session. That was the smoothest I had played through since Friday.

What an experience.

#commonground

Froze