life lessons learnt from a game of musical chairs.

There’s nothing more rewarding than to see people know Christ. Since I’ve entered full-time ministry, my opportunities to interact with non-Christians have been greatly diminished. I’ve always seen myself as an evangelist because of how I came to know Christ and what He has done in my life, so I am thankful for the opportunities presented to me in iJourney – where I’m able to get to know youths who do not yet know Him, and therein lies the challenge to introduce Him to them.

KK conducted an activity for the students in today’s session and he asked if I had wanted to share anything at the end of his debrief. I declined initially, but when the Holy Spirit started to deposit lessons into my heart, I took it up; I’m always quite impressed by how quick the Spirit can impress lessons into me.

These are my observations from a modified version of musical chairs, where the participants’ difficulty of movement was introduced by tying a person’s arm to his or her leg with a short string to simulate aging:

In life, there are three facts; we will all:

  1. Get old – the most certain thing about life is death.
  2. Face new challenges – for that comes with age and changing environments.
  3. Experience suffering – in various intensities and variety.

And so there are three things we can do:

  1. Do not complain – for it doesn’t change our situation, solve our problem or make us feel any better about what we are going through.
  2. Help one another – assistance is always appreciated and it increases efficiency and reduces frustration. A word of encouragement goes a long way, even if it’s just a word. Learn to look out for each other.
  3. Walk together – competition is good, but it could be venomous. Everyone gets there safely when we walk at an agreed pace, without anyone lagging behind, speeding up or overtaking; don’t leave anyone behind.

I think that when students eventually leave the world of academia and enter what’s commonly known as the “real” world (as if life as students is an illusion) they will be thrown challenges from all directions simply because of how unnecessarily cruel meeting the world’s expectations can get. So instead of fight each other, why don’t we get on the same side, join hands and do battle together? I’m idealistic, but I’m not wrong.

About Joey Asher Tan

Apart from Jesus, I can do nothing; I am absolutely nothing without Christ.

Posted on July 13, 2010, in Affirming Faithfulness, Extraordinary Mundane, Forever Young, Preaching & Teaching, Retrospective Reflections, Simple Pleasures, Top Ten & Other Lists and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Wandering Wonderer


    Actually, vis-a-vis the note on idealism, I think that there’s a need a reconcile idealistic notions with practical solutions — not that what you’re saying about ‘joining hands and doing battle together’ is absolutely impractical but, in my opinion, it’d require everybody, or a majority, for the benefits of such an act to materialize. And at the end of the day, the question is, is it likely to happen? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t strive to be the difference, the question is, shouldn’t we plan out a practical solution that is embedded with spiritual doctrines?

    That statement of yours stirs up my recollection of a recent — or relatively recent — discourse between the Catholic church and policy planners over the issue of contraception.

    I’m not certain if you see the parallels — centered on the theme of idealism — but basically, the question is: Should students be taught how to have safe sex and so prevent the spread of STDs and unwanted pregnancy or should such topics remain anathema (because as Christians, we shouldn’t even think about pre-marital sex since it’s been remarked upon that teaching youngsters how to have sex safely is a tacit endorsement of pre-marital sex) and, as a result, will lead to a higher chance of STDs being spread as well as unwanted babies being conceived and abandoned since it’s almost certain, at least in this day and age, that sexual tension and encounters will be, let’s say, almost inevitable.

    What’s your take?

    • dear ww,

      firstly, thanks for your comment. i appreciate how you’ve phrased an impassioned sentiment so diplomatically. anyway, i’ve deleted the previous since this one is updated. sorry for the delay in responding – i spent some time thinking about what you said and how i should reply.

      i believe that context is very important. i am assuming (forgive me for that) that you are speaking on a large-scale-worldwide level, and for that, i wholeheartedly agree with you that to join hands and do battle together – that would be unrealistic, though idealistic. however, the context in which i was writing in referred to smaller scale, where (healthy) peer pressure can make a noticeable difference and impact. after all, pardon the cliche, all it takes is for one to make a difference, and more would follow.

      as for “practicalising” spiritual doctrines, i’m inclined to think that, by secular standards, most solutions would be impractical and usually unacceptable. even the “renewal of your mind” that paul spoke about in romans 12:2 is a struggle for some. if anything at all, i believe that spirituality begins with the individual and on an individual level. i’ve never set out this blog to be spiritual or theological – i don’t feel qualified or trained enough to write on such matters. but i do attempt to write in a way to intentionally influence (especially) youths – for their “standards” are still relatively untainted by this world. i don’t prescribe solutions – i try to share principles instead.

      using your example of sex education, i think we all have observed a gradual deterioration in standards – from absolute abstinence to precautionary protection. the media has played and will continue to play a pivotal in this; it used to be wrong to even think about sex outside of marriage (be it pre- or extra-) but now, we are applauding and endorsing safe sex. what have we succumbed ourselves to?

      so to conclude my attempt at responding to your comment, i think that any effort that involves changing the masses would be almost impossible unless you have the backing of the government and/or the media. therefore, i propose that we begin within our sphere of influence. perhaps for me, it could be my congregation, and for you, your immediate family and workplace. bottom line is, we begin somewhere, and prayerfully, by God’s grace, it’d bring us somewhere else.

      that’s my take.


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