anticipating the future with thanksgiving and hope.
Without a shadow of a doubt, it was a one of the most momentous nights for HY and I, and certainly the most significant landmark of our journey together yet. And because we try not to count chickens before they hatch, we won’t announce what we’re celebrating over until we actually secure it – this keeps us praying without complacency until 10 June. And as we began the night declaring, “Blessed be Your name, whether You give or You take”, we’ll continue to pray with hope, in the attitude of an open-palm surrender. Chat us up if you want to share our joy. And please, continue to keep us in prayer! After tonight, HY and I can only declare the goodness and faithfulness of God – this episode has certainly pushed our faith to another level. How can we keep from singing His praise and giving all the glory to Him? We experienced a miracle tonight for God answered our prayers beyond all our expectations. It went better than we had speculated, for sure!
But speaking of speculation… I shall divert your attention to something I found on a website, which would be really ridiculous if it actually happened to SMRT in the future.
In an attempt to expand my perspectives on “investment”, I’m inclined to think that it should not and cannot be tied to just monetary terms. There’s also the investment of time, energy and resources, which money cannot and will not be able to purchase.
Many men and women have invested into my life ever since I became a Christian and a lot of them will not be able to directly gain the returns of their investments made at various key intervals of my life.
Likewise, a lot of what I am about to do with young people and with the youth ministry, I may not be able to see or touch the returns. Youth ministry is a transient place to say the least and while major decisions are made during this time, most of its consequences and effects would not surface until years later, when these youths have exited the ministry.
I believe that if we wait long enough, people usually would surprise us with their good side – something I learnt from Randy Pausch’s “The Last Lecture”. And in youth ministry, most times, it’s always about being patient and looking beyond the immediacy of the circumstance and to help the young person see what you see too. I think that everyone at any point in time is relatively myopic. This is mildly non-sequitur but there is nothing more satisfying than to play a part in bringing out God’s best in a young person.
The invaluable investments that people like RY, PL and JH have made in my life – maybe their kids will be recipients of their investments. In fact, it is very probable that all of their children will be under my care within the next 10 years, providing I’m still at it. And maybe, if I’m allowed to think a little more selfishly, these investments that I’m making and about to make in young people – my kids will be indirect recipients of my time, energy and resources. And maybe that makes it all a little more worthwhile.
Now, that’s what I call a risk-free investment.
obedience vs sacrifice.
If you had overheard the candid conversation I had with God prior to me coming into Full Time ministry…
Me: So, I really want to obey You and go full time, instead of sacrificing, because I know you desire obedience over sacrifice.
God: What are you sacrificing?
M: I don’t know… I guess you know, like the great amounts of money that I’ll be earning, the wonderful high positions that I’ll be holding, that beautiful house that I’ll be residing in, those fantastic annual holidays that I’ll be bringing my family on… You know… All these things… Well, but I love You and I just want to obey You instead of thinking about these things that I’m going to sacrifice.
G: Have all these things happened yet?
M: [stunned] Oh, erm, well, no… But it probably will, right?
G: But it hasn’t, right?
M: [resigned] Yeah…
G: Then they are not sacrifices. : )
M: [speechless] … -_-
All right, some bits were dramatised but essentially that really happened. I guess I’ll never know how life would be like in the ministry or in the marketplace so instead of speculating all the what-ifs, I should just focus on today and perhaps ask God for a preview of tomorrow.
I truly believe that I do not have to take the paths that others have walked on. My journey of faith is mine alone and may it be an adventure for me as well as for directly affected by my decisions.