In Control

Realised yesterday that my recent downness could be an effect of a disrupted rest over the past 2 weeks. Yeah, I’m someone who knocks out and sleeps through the night, but lately I’ve been waking up in the middle of the night to… nothing. Initially I thought it was the heat, then exercising too late at night, and eventually I realised it just kept happening each night.

Was at home yesterday and felt utterly down since the morning. Because I had an argument with my mom over the state of the house hur. Cell group mate asked how did I spend my day yesterday, and I replied, “Quarrelling with my mom.” Quarelled till I shut myself in my room, got angry at what she said, thought about leaving the house, thought about the imperfections of the church, etc.

That came in too early. When I realised years ago that I sink into negativity late at night, I would go to sleep if I had nothing occupying my time (e.g. assignments). But when I sank that low yesterday, it was too early, too much time for the day to go by, too many opportunities for me to sink even lower.

Came home from lunch and did my Quiet Time and, there was this sleepiness that came upon me. “Go and sleep, take a rest.” And so I did.

I woke up. Yes, what’s up now? The first thought that came was this – God is sovereign still, everything is in control, I’m not alone in these. That was reassuring, and changed my outlook the moment I left the bed.

That was also when I realised that I’ve been feeling overwhelmed by whatever that’s going on in life. The conflict, the Christians, the family, the company. It’s almost as though I forgot that God is holding all these in His hands.

I lift my hands to heaven
Here my heart surrendered
I tell my soul again
You are Lord of all
Though the seas are raging
You will speak and tame them
In You I find my rest
You are in control

In Control

Hope in the Lord

Painfully aware of how hopeless everything in life is. Don’t wanna elaborate on this but yeah. Used to be somewhat afraid of death but recently I gained a new found understanding in what Paul said, “To die is gain.”

Well, not suicidal so don’t worry. I thought to myself these few days that without Christ, I might be.

But anyway, the hopelessness in life has pointed me to the unfailing hope that I have in Christ. Unfailing hope. This I am certain. For this, I am living.

Hope in the Lord

Life…

So, got bitten by a bat at work yesterday while trying to untangle it from a net it was trapped in. It bit through my gloves and left 3 punctures and 2 scratches. And I wondered if I would grow fangs become a vampire And that started a series of troubles in my heart pocket today. Thoughts that came across my mind when I was told the 3 rabies jabs cost $1.3k:

  1. Should I take a gamble and not take the jabs? By the time if I were to realise I was infected though, I will be dead. 
  2. But there are currently no symptoms and I got a feeling my boss thinks it’s silly that I took the jabs without any symptoms showing.
  3. This also made me understand why some people would rather risk their lives and not want to incur medical bills – I’m serious.
  4. What happens if I die?
  5. Maybe I should start writing a will just in case the virus takes control.
  6. What shall I write?
  7. Just today alone, I’ve already paid more than $200.
  8. What if I pay for more insurance policies using my remaining assets so that my family will get enough money when I die? Will that be a foolproof plan?
  9. If my company would not pay for this – hey wait why are we handling wildlife and not told to get rabies jabs – then if I were to save my life this once, I’d better save my future life and pocket by leaving.
  10. I got to be sure and be assured that my life is worth more than $1.3k if not why spend the money to treat this.

Bat-boy, the troubles you’ve given me with a simple bite isn’t all that simple :(

Life…

Mediacorp

It’s this feeling that… from the moment you stepped into their main lobby, till you exit an hour later, you’re just so fascinated by the sights and sounds around you. 

The Guest Relations Officer brought us up from the carpark to the waiting area. I walked past the radio section and saw the DJs with huge panels and gigantic microphones in front of them, and I just let out a WOAH. Clearly fascinated eh. Then the Producer came to meet me and brief me on the plans. Vincent used to be a DJ at SPH, then he joined Mediacorp a month ago, and he’s going to be a newscaster next month. His voice right, even over the phone before I met him, was that of DJ quality. Not kidding.

He brought me into the news recording studio. Before we entered, he apologised to both my bosses who had accompanied me there – ohyeah they were like my nannies bringing me to school and fetching me after – for forgetting to inform them that they were not allowed in the studio. One of them looked at me, concerned, and said, “You’ll be fine, right?” I replied jokingly, “Even if I’m not, I have no choice.” But yeah, that’s the way to life isn’t it. Vincent then assured her, “Don’t worry, I’ll take care of.” Maybe he realised that sounded awkward. We entered the studio.

That was a huge room. Three cameras facing the hosts on the platform. Many screens showing what was going on on TV. Tons of lights with different tones shining in all directions. I looked up and that whole place was just filled with things (I have no idea what they were) hanging from the ceiling. I would have loved to take a few photos a photo of that place. Everything’s so new to me; never in my life have I seen anything like this before. I can’t even find the words to describe it – or maybe it’s just because my vocabulary fails me, as always.

I was invited to sit with the newcasters on the platform. Like, isn’t this the newscaster whom I’ve always seen on TV when I was young, and there, she’s a real person sitting right in front of me, HAVING A CONVERSATION WITH ME. I sat there and allowed them to ask me questions. It seemed like the show hasn’t started, because they were rather casual with the way they spoke to me, and touched up on their make-up several times in that conversation. Yes I mean several times like, she held up the mirror, tidied up something, put down the mirror, then other newscaster took over and did the same thing while the other carried on with the conversation, and then the first one held up the mirror again. That was what went on in that 20 minutes.

I was there just answering their questions and asking my mountain-tortoise questions, yet fearing that the cameras would reel at any time. So I spoke softly and rushed to finish my sentences – as if that would help if the cameras were to start reeling. Finally, I blurted out what I had wanted to ask since the moment I stepped into the studio, “Isn’t this a live news?” Both of them giggled and told me that newscasters were in the other room were reporting the news for the day. I see.

At about 6.55pm, we had to get ready for the camera to roll. So I stood behind the camera and watched the newscasters gave a brief introduction to the discussion topic of the day before entering into a commercial break. As I stood there, I asked the camera girl (pardon me, I have no idea what’s the right term for the role) about how they would select which cameras to take the image from, to which she replied that there was a director in a room within the studio handling this.

As we entered the commercial break, I was invited back to the platform to prepare for the discussion segment. I had the microphone clipped onto my blazer, and the newscasters carried on with doing their make-up and hair. The girl whom I spoke to then gave me a brief of the to-dos (like looking into the camera when I’m introduced, to count from 1 to 10 to test the microphone, to face the newscasters during the discussion) and the not-to-dos (like not leaving the scene until I was told to do so). The newcasters and I carried on with our chat in the last few minutes.

“5, 4, 3, 2, 1…”, the camera girl counted down. And everything went live. I watched the screens showing what the audience would see. You know those animation thingy that flies in and out when you return from a commercial break? I was expecting for the usual news music; I thought newscasters hear that and use that as a cue to begin. But there was none. The studio was silent until the newscasters started speaking. Which was so unlike what we see on TV where there’s always some music in the background. 

What I thought would be difficult to last for 10 minutes actually overran – just like this. Must be the nerves. There was one point the newscasters asked me a question and I forgot what would have been my answer. As she went on with the question, I was like a crap, my head’s empty. So I MMMM, and thank God that by the time I finished my thoughtful sound (thanks, O’level orals prep for teaching us how to buy time), He had put in some words and reminded me of what to say. Phew.

The experience was. Wow. The previous two times, it was interesting to be a part of a production and understand how they work. This time round, it’s the experience of being in the studio and having familiar faces talking to me when I had never imagined that happening. Wow!

Mediacorp

Beautiful Garden

Met Pastor John and Auntie Michelle earlier on for dinner at Yong Kang Street. Had like a 4 hours chat about random things. Part of it was about the Bible and the Christian beliefs. There was this point in time when I took a step back and felt that same awe I had when I sat at their feet to listen to the Word of God when I was 12. Really enjoyed that time of asking questions and learning things from them.

They also shared about The Shack, a movie they watched recently. There’s this part where the main character felt lost in a maze, but as the camera zoomed out to capture the view from above, the maze turned out to be a beautiful garden. They said, perhaps that’s how life is. Where even though we feel stuck about out situations, God has His beautiful purpose in it.

Interestingly, I’ve been seeing tweets relevant to the situation where I’m in these few days:

Your journey with God starts where you are. How far it goes depends on your decision to continue on the road when you can’t see the reason. (C. S. Lewis)

“We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us: we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.” (C. S. Lewis)

Beautiful Garden

Post-squash

There is something addictive about exercising. Nowadays, even when I stop for just a day or two – mostly due to work or appointments – my mind keeps thinking about how I haven’t exercised for the day.

Maybe it’s because it’s one of those few things in life that bring about almost-immediate-and-apparent-results. As you persevere on, you sweat and that actually feels good. It’s a sign that you’ve gotten some work done. There are points in time you’re almost hitting your limit – but actually not really – and you tell yourself, it’s just a little more to go. And when you hit the mark, you feel great because you achieved a goal. Sometimes you end up with an aching arm or a wobbly pair of legs right after, sometimes they come a day or two after. Either way, they tell you that a part of you is growing, and that your workout is fruitful.

Not many aspects of life bring about as immediate or as apparent results such as this. There are days you wonder what you’re doing with your life. You feel stuck but have no idea how to move on. Guess exercising is satisfying in the way that it’s different; as long as you’re determined to get a (realistic) goal done, something changes. It begins on the inside – a little determination brings perseverance – and then it shows on the outside – the sweat and the aches and the growth. That sounds a little masochistic, but yeah.

Post-squash

Numb

Back. Beyond just a break from the mundane routine of turning up at work, I guess I had looked forward to the trip as a break from the internal battles arising from being a witness (or, ashamedly, even a participant) of the ugliness of this world. A break from the struggles with what is right and what is wrong, with who am I, with what living an abundant life means.

A constant question that I’ve been asking God, especially in the past few days, was this, “Where are You, God?” I can’t seem to find Him in my radar.

It’s fairly easy to get through life, day by day, without asking questions about life. It’s easier to not think, and just go on a autopilot mode. During the trip, I fell asleep on the train when a ticket checker came around. My friend tried to wake me up but failed initially – that was how deep a sleep I had. When she finally managed to wake me up, I frantically went through my wallet looking for… something. It was as though I was on autopilot mode, because half a minute into that, my mind started thinking (yes it only just started), “What am I actually looking for?” Quite funny but yeah, I figured out that the only thing I would need at such a juncture, with a stranger standing in front of me and demanding for something, would be my train ticket.

The thing with autopilot mode is that, I guess, it numbs my senses. I seem to have turned blind to God’s Presence in my life, and have become deaf to His Promises, to what He is speaking to me at the moment, and to where He is directing me. I’m just like a ship without a captain, a sheep without a shepherd.

I can’t help myself. No way can I cure this blindness and deafness, no way can I conjure His Presence. And even if I try to un-numb myself and begin thinking about those questions once more, I’m not confident of finding the answer by myself. I need You, God. I need You to save me. Help me.

Numb