yet another centenary to celebrate.
Last week, this blog crossed its 20,000th readership mark – an achievement I am honestly thankful for because it gives me acknowledgement and affirmation as a aspiring author-to-be.
It’s been a wonderful journey for me as a writer. Amongst the many benefits I’ve experienced, I am thankful for how I’ve gained access into people’s lives and how God has used me to minister to strangers and acquaintances alike. But above all, I’ve enjoyed writing in and of itself (just as I trust that you have enjoyed reading what I have written); to be able to put into words the things in my head and heart – I see that as God’s free gift to me (1 Corinthians 4:7), and even the enjoyment of this gift is a gift in itself (1 Peter 4:11)! Writing truly disciplines my mind and forces it to frame thoughts into understandable words in a systematic and concise manner that all can relate to and with.
The last few entries have been heavy stuff – both in length and content. So for this 201st entry, I shall attempt to keep it light.
One of the many things I find useful about WordPress is its “Blog Stats”; It gives me a quick and (if I want a) detailed overview of how people navigate into, within and out of my blog. I thought it’d be interesting to share that piece of trivia, now that I’ve generated a considerable amount of original content on what started out to just be an open journal where I store my thoughts and share my testimony; I praise God for this for He has certainly multiplied my three loaves and one fish beyond my imagination.
Hence, 2,400 tags later, kindly allow me to present the all-time top five in four different categories:
Referrers | Views – This is how the traffic rolls in.
- facebook.com | 418
- sweetestgoodbyeee.wordpress.com | 118
- thefuneralmasqueradeforlove.blogspot.com | 113
- theupperroomdiaries.wordpress.com | 105
- morethanwordscansay.wordpress.com | 84
Search Terms | Views – This is what people google to get here.
- joey asher tan | 138
- joey asher | 55
- signs of insecurity | 40
- is it possible to dream within a dream | 35
- misunderstoodsunshinekid | 25
Clicks | Views – This is what people click on when they’re here.
- krystalite.wordpress.com | 758
- fortunecookieman.blogspot.com | 359
- theupperroomdiaries.wordpress.com | 354
- onthemark2046.blogspot.com | 347
- rachaeljewel.wordpress.com | 334
Top Posts | Views – These are the entries with the most views.
- is heavy metal music really satanic? | 223
- understanding your personality temperament. | 201
- a dream within a dream – is that possible? | 192
- announcement! change of address in 2016! | 184
- full-time calling. | 171
It is my desire that my humble little space on the world wide web fulfills what Paul attempted to accomplish in 1 Corinthians 10:33; I want to play my role in the theatre of redemption so may the next 100 entries and beyond be written with the intention and hope that one day it will benefit many more so that they may see Jesus and be saved!
“… just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.”
how should you apply and appreciate talent?
As I lounged into my seat to observe AS’s piano recital at the Yong Siew Toh Music Conservatory yesterday, I realised that I grew frustrated at my inability to fully appreciate the beauty of the Chopin pieces that she was apparently playing so brilliantly. It was an accomplished performance, no doubt; her fingers moved so much faster than I could move my lips, musically it sounded like a formidably difficult piece to pull off with so many off-beats, odd synchronisations, and flats and sharps that seem to fit in perfectly when they normally would sound out of place. It was only the second time I saw Singapore’s child (now teenage) prodigy in action but there I was, reclined in my comfortably red seat, wishing that my musical knowledge was more inclined so that I could appreciate her performance at the level that it was meant to be appreciated at.
How do you enjoy a performance you can’t appreciate? I’m inclined to believe that talent is best appreciated by the talented, for our enjoyment is vastly limited and restrained to our personal capacities and standards – I could never fully comprehend the difficulty of AS’s piano pieces and the level of her accomplished techniques; my enjoyment was sadly limited to a mere sensory admiration, instead of a technical, emotional and intellectual appreciation. Football, music and even preaching are all art in various forms but our appreciation of even its respective equipment knowledge or showmanship styles has been greatly marginalised due to our ignorance of these art forms. We won’t even be able to comprehend the painstaking efforts and countless hours invested to perfect the art.
I found myself asking two questions:
- How should you apply the talent at your disposal?
- How should you appreciate the talent on display?
So as I fidgeted in my seat, I naturally recalled the parable of the talents, where it’s not about how much talent you have, but about what you do with it. Each of us would have our assigned lots in life. The whole idea is to utilise the lot in the best way you know how to; for the more you use it, the better you get at it and may possibly even acquire new skills along the way. I think this is applicable to any art form. Think about it – if I decide to practise scales in a bid to up my guitar playing ability, and I get good at it, I will open up the door to new genres of music for me to learn and appreciate. In football, if I put myself through dribbling drills, I will eventually get stronger on my weaker leg, and I will open up the option of eventually shooting or crossing with my weaker foot. Before I could polish my abilities as a lead singer, I had to ensure that my basic singing abilities were above average. Practice doesn’t just make perfect – it paves the path for new skills.
I remember a quote by John Keating from one of my all-time favourite movie, Dead Poets Society:
“… And medicine, law, business, engineering – these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love…
These are what we stay alive for.”
I think that beauty is multi layered – where one standard of excellence is carefully smuggled beneath another. I juxtapose the foundations of three art forms – the left and right hand of a pianist, the skill and the fitness of a footballer, and the preparation and oration of a preacher. The pursuit of excellence and the discovery of new art forms will exponentially enhance and elevate our appreciation of life.