Archive for July, 2005

Walking on a sunny day
Casting all my cares away
Whistling as the wind dances by
To see a rainbow in the sky

To lift my eyes and meet the streaks
To find the beauty a heart seeks
To dream a vision that pleases the eye
All in a rainbow in the sky

To wish for colours on a monochrome day
To be drawn to a hope of a future way
To long for a sign of a promise On High
Just for a rainbow in the sky

The more i think it over, the more i feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.

Another Flurry…

Disclaimer: This post is just a mental reflection that’s on my mind. It won’t tell you anything about what’s going on currently, nor give you much insight – it’s just something i need to put down in words.

When one is brought to question what he had been trained to take as truth, is that considered reflection? If so, then to me there is a very fine line between reflection and confusion – which might explain why i’m almost constantly so confused.

Nothing wrong with questioning what you’re taught – it helps you to ascertain what it true coz the false will simple melt away under real scrutiny. But when it comes down to the heavy stuff in the heart, and you suddenly need to ask what your foundation is, it gets me confused. What’s the benchmark? What’s the key concept?

Yet i know that most human beings can’t be explained scientifically, us being irrational creatures and all. But there must be some sort of explaination. Ironically it’s times like this that i believe all the more that God does exist coz someone’s gotta have the answers.

Sometimes you do things with the best of intentions and things turn out bad. Other times they turn out as expected. What if you don’t know what the result of the what you did? Do you continue doing and hope that its effects are positive? What if the effects are negative – the cumulative final result would come crashing down on everything and you’d be ruined. Yet there’s no way to be certain of the results of what you’re doing – what do you do?

That’s when you have to really look at things. Objectivity in dealing with items, and honesty and transparency with regards to people. (Note: you MANAGE items, you BEFRIEND people – there’s a significant difference, don’t go mixing the two around) When you don’t see things clearly, when the information is insufficient, you can’t make proper deductions and take the proper course of action, and your chances of messing up are much higher. A perfect example would be coding a program – where if you give some rubbish input you’re likely to get a worse output.

What happens when almost every question you ask yourself is answered by an “i don’t know?” It’s then that you learn to trust God and seek Him for answers – yet that’s easier said than done, for it’s a well-known fact that the distance between the head and the heart is the furthest distance in the world. Perhaps it would have been so much easier to not think so much, or even not be able to think at all, to be mindless drones…the grass is always greener on the other side.

Yet with this same capacity for thought we can appreciate great literary works, masterpieces on canvas and to a certain extent, the more scientific side of things, like programming code (for some of us) being reduced by a considerable number of lines. (Yes, Geekdom is not dead.) Two sides of the same coin, yet the image of the coin reminds me of Two-Face’s coin, where one side is scratched beyond recognition.

Guess that’s all that’s expressable on my mind now…if there’s more thoughts in a flurry i’ll put it up sometime.

A Deeper Sense

Had a great time at Popiah at the Movies a few days back, though i must admit that was the first in a VERY long time i had actually stayed up the entire night without sleeping till the next day was well on its way. Call me old if you will, but i don’t really care =)

The time we had was fun, with all the movies and laughter amidst the movies. Yet i left the place with thoughts, and these thoughts were only placed in their proper position when i went for my Youth Alpha Weekend at Sentosa Scripture Union Campsite. The movie that initiated these thoughts was Moulin Rouge – a good movie, touching, well scripted (though i don’t entirely agree with the casting lol), and i loved the musical bits and songs.

I get the impression that the whole idea of the movie was one that has been replayed over and over again in Hollywood, yet no one gets tired of hearing another story about it – the notion of all-conquering and inspiring love, a love that goes beyond differences and beats the odds. I won’t deny that i was extremely touched by the movie and i really really REALLY wished Satine didn’t have to die and they had a happy ending, but her death (not Nicole Kidman’s) contributed to part of the beauty of the story as well. But it left me with thoughts about love and often what we perceive it to be.

Everyone wants to be loved – it’s as simple as that. That’s why Hollywood has been so successful replaying this same theme through many different avenues. Yet i can’t help but think that the love that was portrayed was somewhat incomplete. Inspiring, yes. Enpowering, yes. Overcoming, yes. But incomplete, yes.

Another story of love was told of a person who lost his sight in an accident. The poor young man had his entire future in front of him, and it was all taken away just because of someone else’s carelessness. Not surprisingly, he was depressed. Locked himself up in his room and refused to do anything because he felt he couldn’t – after all, he couldn’t even see. His father slammed open the door to his room one day and shouted at him, “Boy, you are moving your ass off that bed! I’m leaving the house and there’s a storm coming – you are to shut all the storm windows before it hits or else the house will be ruined, you hear me?” And then the door slammed shut. Shortly after that, the front door slammed shut too.

Our idea of love? Maybe not. Or maybe you think that that was the father’s way of getting the son to find his purpose again. Yes, that’s love too, but that’s not the part that touched me.

The story continues as the young man gropes his way around the house, grumbling and griping at how unfair, how unreasonable and how un-understanding his father was. Slowly, bit by bit, he found the stepladder, managed to locate each of the storm windows and close each one of them. Yes, he found that despite being blind, he could still do something in his life. But the most touching part of the story is that many years down the road, he found out that during those hours of him gumbling and groping around the house, his father was never more than two feet from him, ready to catch him should he have fallen.

Silently kind. Sacrificial. Love encompasses that too.

I once asked Jesus if He loved me.
“Yes, I do, My child”

“How much?”
“This much.”

And He stretched out His hands, nailed them to the Cross, and died.

Just returned yesterday from the VCF Freshman Orientation Camp and reminded so much of my first FOC at Sentosa. Would like to relive those days again, but that’s not possible.

Reminded so much of the innocence then, and how naive i was. Can i truly say that i have grown? Even more so pertaining to what God wants me to grow in? Thinking back and comparing the jon of the FOC ’04 to the jon sitting here typing this out now – there is definitely a difference, yet whether it be good or bad perhaps only God knows at this point of time.

I know for a fact that one year ago, i never would have envisioned myself the way i am now, which isn’t to say whether the state i’m in now is desireable or not. Perhaps it’s merely because in the past i never thought about how i’d turn out in the relative future. Again, all these raises questions in my mind, which i shall iterate here, but honestly won’t bother much about them coz there’s nothing i can do since all this is relating to the past, and furthermore i most likely wouldn’t be able to find out the answers to them anyway.

Had i been a good steward of my time the last year? I really can’t tell for sure. I hope i had been, and yet there are areas which i know need vast improvement even now. What drives me to think of this question is that one day when i finally come face to face with my Father, i know He will ask me “did you do the best you could with what I gave you?” and i shall have to give an honest answer. Definitely everyone would hope that the answer we return would be “yes”.

Which leads me to the second thought that i had after the camp – the concept of eternity. During the production of the musical last sem, Gabriel mentioned something like “he who grapples with the concept of eternity has the ability to turn the tides of time” and i’ve been thinking about eternity ever since. No, i don’t have time-shifting mutant powers yet, but perhaps they’re just dormant ;D. The thought keeps ringing in my head and i’m reminded of that scene in “Starship Troopers” where the Rednecks go to war and the warcry from the leader is “who wants to live forever”…does what i do have any significance on eternity? Someone once said “the key to immortality is to live a life worth remembering”. So what will i leave behind after the transient world i live in is gone?

Somehow memories cause me to reflect on myself. I believe experiences change and mould a person, especially when it’s God running the show. I don’t have a quirky snippet to end this post, neither do i have a memorable flashback to my past.

I just hope that when the day comes and i have to be accountable for what i’ve done, i can still hold my head up and look my Father in His face and say “i have been a good steward”.

*post re-edited on Sunday 03 July 1936hrs*

Looking at the reality TV shows around us these days that promote competition up to the extreme levels…the general message projected is “do you have what it takes?” Look carefully: do you have what it takes to…

…eat amazingly weird/grotesque stuff on Fear Factor?
…emerge unscathed from the complaints and backstabbing on Survivor?
…beat others to the finish of a thousand tasks on The Amazing Race?

(and no, i don’t watch all these, though i don’t advocate you boycotting them either – nothing’s wrong with watching them , though i personally don’t really watch tv at all)

Yet sometimes i wonder – why do we try to be all these things? “Surely there must be something more”…

Oftentimes the Bible refers to God as our shepherd…why so? I think it goes beyond David’s history of tending the flock – i think (and this is just my personal conviction) that we are to be envisioned as sheep. Then that brings up the question – why sheep? Lions roar with pride, cheetahs sprint, eagles fly majestically, but sheep…i can’t think of anything that sheep do except eat and sleep (and follow each other off cliffs).

Sheep can’t defend themselves, can’t protect themselves, can’t find places where there are sufficient food for themselves, can’t keep themselves warm…why are we supposed to be sheep? C’mon, sheep are dumb. They depend on someone else for everything…

I think that last statement very nicely summarizes what we’re supposed to be doing. Get this right – we’re not supposed to be dumb. We’re NOT stupid, or incapable of taking care of ourselves. But we are entirely dependant on God as our Sovereign Lord to provide for us what we need and what’s the best for us.

Yet once again i’m reminded that God is a gentleman – He won’t barge into your life. He knocks the door and if we choose to answer it, He’ll come in. The sheep need to surrender to the shepherd and trust that he will give what’s important.

We as His sheep must surrender to Him to allow Him to work. Yet i know this isn’t an easy process…like becoming a red bean, it will take time and it’s tough work.

Was reminded by Jo as well that another reason why the Bible uses sheep as well is because we as true believers are supposed to know the shepherd’s voice. You ever notice how most of the time animals listen to their owners but not to strangers? I presume that it’s the same with sheep. (Of course, i’ve never owned a sheep, so i wouldn’t know *grin*) They don’t just follow any strangers voice, but only the one whom they recognize – in our case, we listen to our Lord’s voice. Just as the sheep listen only to the voice of the shepherd, so we are to listen only to our God and not be led astray by the rest of the influences surrounding us, hence the reason why we are “set apart” and that we are to live “in the world but not of the world”.

Do you have what it takes to become a sheep?