2018 soon will be gone… soon it’ll be regarded as “another year”. 2018 has been an amazing year for me and there are many things, both good and not-so-good, to be thankful for; little blessings that have been showered upon me, though may not be as significant at that point of time when it happened, but at the end of the year now (so wanted to use road instead of year hahaha), they are… really… significant indeed.
What I love doing every now and then, whenever possible (sometimes life just gets busy, if not crazy, and all that), is to spend some time to do some personal reflection; Reflection of myself, my life, personality, character, has has it been different compared to the me before. I believe it is a good practice to do some self-evaluation as it encourages us to be a better version of ourselves for tomorrow.
I’m gonna go with another set of 3 pointers (with points it’s so much easier to control your flow of thoughts, and also not to make things… so… messy?), and I choose the alphabet “P”.
Therefore, I’m “Thankful” because of…
“Chi-sin” one! (Chi-sin means gila in Cantonese)! Thankful for “Pain”? Mental ar you? Honestly (didn’t check on it), I am thankful for pain. In fact I feel that it is through the pains that I went through, not only they affected me (yes, it is different to different people), but they also help shape me and I hope, to be a better person. There’s a song that goes like this, “What doesn’t kills you only makes you stronger”… to a certain degree, I would agree with it.
I was sharing this at a Youth Camp I spoke at earlier this month, and I talked about Storm… Storm as in the challenges that we face in life, and how can we look at/approach these storms that we face, which are bound to come (whether you like it or not), of which I also used 3 points to dig deeper into it, and I also chose the alphabet “P”.
1st “P” – Preparation. There are many things that we can do to prepare ourselves before the storm hits. Just like how it is in school exams, we can spend more time studying, or when it’s about health we can plan/schedule an annual body check-up so that nasty things in our body can be detected early, etc. The other part of the preparation is this, which not many people address, you can’t possibly deny that “there are only so much you can do to prepare yourself” or “what if all that you’ve prepared for, failed?”
2nd “P” – Preservation. It is said that there’s an eye to a storm. If you were to look at a storm from an aerial view (top-down view), there is a circle in the middle of the storm. For those of you who have watched movies like 2012, or even GeoStorm, you might be able to recall an image of what I’m trying to talk about here. That is called as the “Eye of the Storm”. Scientists further said this that, in the Eye, that measures about 30-65km wide in diameter, is calmness.
3rd “P” – Projection/Plummet. It’s either you go up, or down low after the storm. How would you fair after facing the storm?
My wife, Christine and I faced two major storms in 2018.
The first storm we both lost someone who was very dear to us. Nothing… literally nothing prepared us for it.
The second storm was in dealing with someone who has the tendency to be… difficult. We felt betrayed, though we kinda “prepared” for it but, we didn’t forsee that it’ll turn up this way.
But I thank God for these pains that we went through. Though it affects us still, but we do not respond nor react like one who is beaten, one without hope.
Jesus said this to His disciples in Matthew 8:26, ESV:
“Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?”
Yes, I may not be “that” afraid, but that doesn’t mean that I go around looking for trouble either… Haha!
I’m thankful for the circle of people I am in.
I believe God is slowly enlarging my tent just like Isaiah said it in Isaiah 54:2, ESV:
Enlarge the place of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out; do not hold back; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes.
I’m thankful for:
- Family: Christine and my family (god-ma too!)
- Spiritual Parents: Alan and Sally, Dr. Gill and Wern Sze, Ps. Robert and Elaine
- Brothers: Adrian, Gideon and Brandon
- Sisters: Emily (Kak), Lydia and Karen
- Care Group: All the “Jars of Clays” and CG21
- Worship Team: Benjamin, Jeremy, Rachel, Shana, Willy, Jeannie, Daniel, Sophia, Sally, Jamin, Joshua, Lydia, Karen, Michelle, Annabelle, I Jiea
- Youth Fellowship: Aunty Mei Ying and Aunty Kim
Thank God for all of you!
When someone says, “I’ll be there” or perhaps “Call me if you need anything”… Somehow these two phrases give me a sense of assurance and confidence, doing life. Promises given and made, holds a certain value, doesn’t matter in what context, but they do. However there are also people who do not keep promises made, either they just got too busy and they just can’t make time to fulfill them, or they had to juggle with too many things in their lives that they forgot about them, but we also have people who are quite loose with the words they exchange during conversations, promises made may not have been taken seriously. A cliché.
It feels terrible.
It feels like dad promised to take you to the park to play when he comes back from work today but… Dad had some last minute things to attend to in the office and he couldn’t make it… or it feels like an outing that you’ve planned together with your friends with all heads accounted for, expenses all calculated per pax but at the very last minute, one of them just didn’t turn up… or perhaps you have a recital coming up, or a football competition, and this means like a whole lot to you, and all your friends’ parents, families will be there and just when you thought that yours will be too… but they are not…
Someone said this…
Promises are made to be broken.
That’s just sad.
The thing I’ve learnt over time is this, people tend to fail us. Promises made, may be broken. Words said, may not hold any water. I’m not saying that we should not trust in people anymore. But what I am trying to say is this…
What if all these promises fail?
How will you feel? How much will you be affected? How will you respond?
This verse in the Bible brought a deeper meaning to me in 2018 – Jeremiah 29:11, ESV:
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
On His promises, I’ll stand.