Monthly Archives: March 2011
I had fun coming up with this list! Which
reason(s) excuse(s) do you always use?
- “I have a huge/ major/ important exam/ test/ appointment/ presentation/ meeting/ date today/ tomorrow.”
- “I didn’t sleep enough the night before.”
- “I don’t feel like it because it’s my, erm, time of the month (I’m convinced some guys get it too!).”
- “The weather today is too hot/ wet/ cold/ sunny/ humid/ nice so I better stay home.”
- “It’s unsafe to run so early/ late.”
- “My mother/ father/ (insert family member) doesn’t allow.”
- “It just doesn’t feel right today.”
- “The gym is too expensive/ far/ crowded/ smelly/ noisy/ filled with gay people.”
- “My muscles are still aching/ recovering from the last run/ week/ month/ year.”
- “Outside got ghost.”
Reality is a social construct – if we keep reinforcing a particular idea through the media and society, it becomes a reality; adjudged reality becomes present deceit and prolonged deceit becomes a fortified idea – even if the original idea is untrue! For example, popular sitcoms like FRIENDS or How I Met Your Mother promote pre-marital and casual sex. Over a decade, a practice that was once frowned upon by society has become acceptable to us – because it’s delivered through entertainment. Another example would be the lifestyles of Adam Lambert or Ellen DeGeneres amongst many other Hollywood celebrities, who are public about their sexual orientation. Over the years, a way of life that was once a taboo and biblically wrong has become tolerated and even embraced by most – because it’s endorsed by popular figures.
On a level close to home, being competitive and cutting each other’s throat in the name of academic excellence may have also cornered us to live and behave in a way that is not pleasing in God’s eyes. Yet we still continue to practise this way of getting ahead of one another because “everyone else is also doing it”. The result of this? Misplaced priorities which stem from an erroneous beliefs system. I know of many who engage in decadent activities even when they know it’s wrong and (eventually) meaningless, because fun is the highest priority of their life. But the end of the day, they still feel empty. Eventually, we will be caught in a state of repeated lack and dissatisfaction, where unmet expectations and a lack of fulfillment leaves us in a terribly frustrated state.
Through the many things that we pursue in this lifetime, we can choose to either build God’s house or our own… Unless we make God’s house our house! Are the things we build in this life for God to take pleasure in or for us to seek solace in? Where’s our focus – on our lives or on the God of our lives? We must examine ourselves and investigate our motives – be it at home, work, school or ministry. (I digress, but doing all four simultaneously is leaving me drained and tired.) Whose will are you pursuing – God’s or yours? Who will you believe and take reference from – God or the world?
And how will you know unless you spend time with the Lord? From my humble experiences, the root of all disillusionment and disorientation always stems from a lack of quality time (not quiet time) with the Lord. It has happened to me before (and it’s happening now, again); we must not lose sight of the purpose behind the passion. Benny Ho said this – “You don’t get what you should get because you don’t do what you should do!” I thought about it for a little while and drew the next conclusive statement… “You don’t know what you should do because you don’t know who you should know!”
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight. (Proverbs 9:10)
Are you short-changing God when you serve Him? Do you often give more attention, time, energy and resources to the office or school? You can, don’t get me wrong – in fact, you must do your best in your work and studies – but you cannot and must not give God any lesser than what you give to school or work. After all, God gave you the best – Jesus Christ – and eternal life! May we always invite the Spirit to investigate our ways and point us back to God!
1. Numbness is a clear symptom of pre-burnout; it’s a terrible feeling (paradoxically speaking) not being able to feel. All I asked God for today was to help me love Him with my heart. I have little problems loving Him with my mind, soul and strength or even loving others. But to love God with my emotions seemed like the hardest thing to do. Nonetheless, the key word here, is “pre” and the response to numbness is gratitude of foresight; the insight of foresight.
2. Ever since planning for Rhema 2010 began, everything seemed like a task to and for me. I loathe it when my (rare) desire to dwell in melancholy is overpowered by my choleric temperament to solve problems, disengage and move on. I may not show it, but I hate being unemotional. I hate it, really. It was never like that before when I was younger – what’s happening to me? I have become intolerant to affection and indifferent to sentiment. I must never become irrelevant to the people I love and disinterested in the world that I live in.
3. I experienced a paradigm shift on Monday. I repented before God for being transactional in the way that I related to Him, my mentors and mentorees. It is my deep desire that my relationships with people evolve into transformational journeys, and not just transactional events. I got so annoyed at myself for getting ahead of myself. I must learn to differentiate between form and substance. I must not allow intentionality descend into the abyss of transactions. There’s so much more – I don’t want to settle for anything lesser (with presumptuousness)!
4. This week, I finally caught a glimpse of why Peter Chao and Edmund Chan prizes mentoring relationships above ministry leadership. After spending the evening with DYLM, I understood it; while leading R-AGE to the next level is what I will always aspire to do, being a friend and mentor to my beloved shepherds and mentorees is what I shall desire to be for all my days. And I believe the turning point was this week – when investing into their lives becomes the topmost ministry priority for me; let’s see how God helps me to translate that into action.
5. I’ve completely messed up what “intentional” means. And I’ve shortchanged myself with my mentors and shortchanged my mentorees when they’re with me. Oh Lord, help me to undo what I’ve foolishly done! Humble and help me to learn from this. Intentional is when I take a step back to allow God to use me to minister to people. Intentional is when I seize opportunities. I know I’m speaking in code and only I will decrypt it. Ironically, agenda is the enemy of intentionality. Yes, I have identified my “Peter, James and John”; the journey with them begins now…
6. I could have a hundred mentors and a thousand mentorees, but nobody could ever take the place of each one of them in my heart. It’s not about calendar or content… No one could replace no one. One of the worst feelings in mentoring (or life in general), even though it’s theoretically unhealthy, is the feeling of abandonment. I understand how you felt now because I felt it myself… Now it’s up to me to take the next step towards reconciliation – I know it is about to unfold. Oh God, give me wisdom to repair relationships. People aren’t statistics and mentors aren’t vending machines; I am humbled.
intentionally (URGH – the use of that word fills me with disgust!) rescheduled all my appointments next week because I’m in desperate need of an extended break. Regardless of how invincible I’ve always perceived myself to be, still I couldn’t shake off the emptiness that accompanied the disengagement from an intensive two-month discipleship programme. I gave so much away my tank is almost empty. It happened last year and again it happened this year. I am a fool to think I could have overcome it. (Now I understand why I was compelled to read Wayne Cordeiro’s “Leading On Empty”.) It’s time to recharge.
8. Leading a youth ministry from 80 to 120 people within a year makes any youth pastor swell with pride… But nothing – and I mean it, nothing! – is more satisfying and encouraging than watching my successors take the lead to bless me… This afternoon, they instructed me to sit back, relax and do absolutely nothing tonight – and I did just that. I cannot thank God enough for their deed and gesture. Keith and Yixian, you both are God’s precious gifts to me and I will remember that I am leading a group of youths who love me deeply and want me just as I am. You have honoured me tonight – thank you.
9. I thank God for the parental green light to (at last!) take our relationship to the next level in 2012. I may not have the emotional capacity to respond but cognitively, it’s one of the greatest news I’ve received in a while. What a privilege – thank you for daring to entrust your daughter to me; she is most special because one has ever made me want to love her more than I love myself. You have no idea how much we are looking forward to our union. God has answered our year-long prayer; He is faithful indeed!
10. I really hope to commence, complete and continue my theological education at Fuller Seminary and I am truly convinced that it will come to pass one day…