I Hate Running
Monday, October 10, 2011
I hate running.
I really do.
I think it's something to do with not pacing myself well.
The feeling like my heart is going to burst and the itch on my legs is almost unbearable at times.
I've managed to successfully dodge RunNat for 2 years now.
Each time I do it, I always wind up feeling a tinge of regret.
"You're such a wimp. Can't you even do 5km?" my conscience jeers.
So somehow, I stumbled into this year's run.
Due to a new-Christian friend's child-like enthusiasm.
Though I largely blame myself for inviting him to Coalition 58's concert at the Dream Centre.
And I know.
I could have said "No".
But I have this weird way of thinking about stuff I don't want to do.
Stuff I'm afraid to do.
Somehow, I always feel, that it's God's way of nudging me to do it.
So I did it anyway.
And so this very reluctant participant woke up on Saturday morning, the 8th of October 2011 to run.
While I was on the way there, I was still arguing with God in my head.
"I can pray at home what. I don't need to run. EVERYBODY says it's NOT about the run. So why should I run?"
Deep down inside, I knew, in some way, it IS about the run.
Maybe not for Victor, the founder of RunNat.
Maybe not for the committee, or the ambassadors.
Maybe not even for the nation.
But for me, it would be.
You see, I always ask myself, "What price are you willing to pay?"
I was willing to start my working life in an NGO.
I was willing to march the streets of KL to fight for clean and fair elections.
I was willing to shower an old lady who could no longer clean herself.
I was willing to teach a child with learning disabilities.
I was willing to learn to love someone that the world deems unlovely.
But I was just too lazy to run 5km.
Does that seem strange to you?
I guess at the end of the day, we all have to pay a price.
Because if it costs you nothing, then perhaps it isn't worth anything either.
But King David said to Ornan, "No, but I will buy them for the full price. I will not take for the LORD what is yours, nor offer burnt offerings that cost me nothing." 1 Chronicles 21: 24
How can I ask of the Lord to bring truth, righteousness and justice to a nation that needs healing, when I'm not willing to get out of my own armchair?
David,acknowledged his sin, and in his repentance, looked to God, and paid the price.
Am I willing to take up this cross, to confess and ask for God's mercy and forgiveness for Malaysia?
Am I willing to pay the price, of literally pouring my sweat into this?
Honestly speaking, He already IS at work, and He doesn't NEED me to run and pray for the nation.
God ALREADY has Malaysia in His heart and has great, wonderful, indescribable, unfathomable plans to redeem it.
But the running and the praying is for me.
I'm the one who needs it.
I never would have realized how focused I can be when I run and pray at the same time.
I never would have stopped and realized that actually, there's quite a lot of greenery right next to the highway.
I never would have gotten the chance to be "plastered" on a road sign.
I never would have imagined I can actually conquer the hill that is Jalan Maarof.
I mean hey, even my car has difficulty climbing that hill.
Have I changed my mind about running?
But it's a reminder to me, that I shouldn't cheapen my offering.
A token of convenience isn't something I want to waste my time giving.
Incidentally, NOT doing something, also comes at a price.
I counted the cost.
And to me, it was worth it.
'Til the break of day
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Recently, I was at my company's planning retreat. And the opening song was "Give me oil in my lamp".
And suddenly it hit me.
After singing it for so many years.
Suddenly I saw it.
You only need a lamp when it's dark.
And if you're waiting for the break of day... it's gonna be a long wait.
You're probably tired. Sad. And alone.
Coz who's gonna sit up with you to wait for the daylight to come?
Last Sunday was the first time, in a long time, that I was happy to be in church.
No, let me rephrase that.
Last Sunday, I was excited that I was going to meet God in church BEFORE the service started.
The excitement, the anticipation of meeting your best friend, just because.
It was not because of the great sermon you know you're gonna hear.
Or the amazing cell members you'll meet in church.
Or the fantastic worship you know is gonna happen.
It's just coz... He's there.
About halfway through the worship, I was hit by another thought.
(Yes, it's true. I actually think when I'm worshiping.)
And the thought is this: It's easy to be in awe of God when you're on the mountaintop.
For us city folk, that happens about once a year. At best.
It's easy to sing on Sunday, "God, I stand in awe at Your presence".
Or "Down at Your feet oh Lord, is the most high place".
But down at the beggars' feet... not so hot.
It's not easy to be in awe of God when you've got a broken heart.
It's not easy to be in awe of God when you're stuck in a traffic jam. Every day.
It's not easy to be in awe of God when your boss likes to change her mind. Every 30 minutes.
It's not easy to be in awe of God when you're cleaning your baby's poop. Again.
It's not easy to be in awe of God when your husband just WILL NOT throw his socks in the laundry.
It's not easy to be in awe of God when your loved one is slowly, but surely, losing their mind.
But take heart. For the daylight will surely come.
Thankfully, it is He who will give us the oil to keep the fire burning.
It is He who IS faithful, who will help us TO BE faithful.
And when that day breaks upon your shadows of your heart, you will stand.
A Farewell Poem
Friday, August 27, 2010
Well, you have all been so kind
I hope you won't mind
What I'm leaving behind
If I have been blind
Or sometimes have whined
I hope you forgive
My sins all combined
So I'm in a bind
I won't be defined
Or even confined
You all can unwind
Now I have resigned
But, when I dine
That friends like you
So hard to find.
A Living Eulogy
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Love the Lord with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your might.
Love your neighbour as yourself.
All my life, since I've known Jesus
This is what I've tried to do
I pray that I have been a blessing to you
Wherever you go, whatever you do
I pray that you know Jesus loves you too
I know I've been selfish and sometimes unkind
I hope you'll forgive me after some time
Please know, that you have been a blessing
To me, yes, it's true
The love you have shown me
In all that you do
I hope you see Jesus in all of my life
His grace is sufficient,
In Him you won't strife
So, if I were to die tomorrow,
This is what, I would want to be read.
I know God's not done with me,
Or else I'd be dead.
But somehow there still is...
This strange sense of dread
What is wrong with me?
I lie on my bed
Regret that You made me?
No, 'twas for me that you bled
There's much left unsaid
Me, still unwed
My poor aching head
I know... You're ahead
Make what You will of me
By You, I'll be led
I'd be lying
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
*Disclaimer: This post may offend you. I also do NOT know everything, and these are my personal opinions. So please bear that in mind when reading this post. Consider yourself informed.
I've been trying to go to bed. But either the night is too warm, or I'm too frustrated.
It's probably both.
So I'm trying to figure out just what's bugging me.
I guess there's a lot.
So it seems to me that the topic of idolatry has come up several times.
I've had to question myself as to what that means.
Coming from a South East Asian country, most of us figure it to mean a physical object that depicts some god or goddess.
But I'm just thinking... sometimes more subtle things can become idols. Things that could be good. Things that start to make us love God less. For example...Property
. Most people who are trained in econs will probably tell you that you should buy a house before you buy a car. Property appreciates but cars depreciate. Good thing to have, right? But what for? Putting aside the accumulation of wealth, a lot of people would say they buy property to have some security. So... security means having a house? So what happened to "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding?"
How about love
? Here's a tricky one coz most of us will define love differently. But humour me. I shall stick to the popular perspective of love. Some of us can become slaves to our emotions. Some of us already have. And I'll be the first one to admit that I'm one of the most vulnerable to this. I can be so caught up in wanting to feel good, to feel loved, to feel accepted, to feel appreciated, to feel wanted. But in the end, emotions are subject to situations. How we feel
often distracts us from the truth. I will often go through periods when I don't feel loved. Does that mean I'm not loved? Far from it! The Bible tells me that nothing, absolutely NOTHING can seperate me from the love of God.
The TRUTH of the matter is that neither angels nor demons (yeah, all those hantu and kiong si or whatever demons you have in your head), neither the present (what comes today) nor the future (2 minutes from now), nor any powers (your boss, your government, your parents), neither height (think Mt. Everest and above) nor depth (imagine being swallowed by an earthquake), nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. That's the truth. Whether I choose to believe it or not. Whether I feel that way or not. There it is.
Ok, some people say, "I just want to be happy
. I don't care how I get it, I don't care about the future, I just want to be happy". Happiness is a strange thing. You know, the wisest man in the world says "Laughter is foolish".
Really? You sure he's the wisest man on earth? Who in their right mind would say that?
He even goes on to question, "What does pleasure accomplish?"
Quite a good question, I think.
One most of us have probably never really tried to answer for fear that we will come to only one conclusion.
Ok, maybe we should talk about knowledge
. Most people would agree knowledge is power. Great thing to have. I'm definitely pro-education. Up to a point. God gave us brains for a reason. We should use it to glorify Him. The problem is when we start getting a little too smart for our own good. When we start abusing the knowledge we have. Or we start bashing people who just aren't as well-informed as us. I like how Paul puts it. "We know that we all possess knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know. But the man who loves God is known by God". (1 Corinthians 8:1-3)
So knowledge, too, can become an idol.
So far I've covered security, love, happiness and knowledge
. Each of these things, and many more can become our idol. Many people I know pursue money which seems to buy not just objects, but security. I'm once again reminded of Job who had everything his heart desired. He was not a wicked man. In fact, he was a righteous man. But everything was stripped from him. Wealth that had been accumulated over many years gone in the blink of an eye. How many of us can guarantee that we will not suffer the same fate?
Love. The bible is very clear. "You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of ANYTHING
that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth". (Emphasis my own). I can speak from my own personal experience that my idols weren't cast in iron. They were made of flesh and blood. Some were pretty decent-looking. Not scary at all. Looks like the guy next door. Kinda sweet and funny. Gentle and caring.
Lovely to look at. Nice to hold. Put him right back, before your soul's sold.
I know, it's quite a cute line, isn't it? But seriously.
I've often questioned myself as to what the all-mysterious will of God is. What exactly IS that?
It's quite simple, really. I was shocked to find out.
But God's will is for us to be holy.
But holiness comes with a price.
Being obedient sometimes means giving up something I really want.
Because I want Jesus to be the one that I love the most, I have to give up anything that I might possibly give all my love to. Like a future in Australia
. And my career choices. Or partners who may cause me to stray.
Jesus already paid the ultimate price for me to be sanctified.
Now it's up to me to be obedient to Him.
It's hard. It's freakin' difficult at times.
But it's gonna be oh-so-worth-it in the end.
If I keep taking matters into my own hands, I won't be able to boast of God's goodness and faithfulness.
I'd only be able to credit it to myself.
And we all know that if I said that I'm something...
I'd be lying.
A prayer for your son
Monday, July 05, 2010
This was initially written for my 'Kai Jie's' coming-soon baby boy.
But I thought it would be nice to share with my friends who have little boys who are either on-the-way or have already arrived. Nothing against little girls! I will probably write one for them soon. =)
So to all those little tots in blue, here is one especially for you:
May your eyes see good in others
May your lips speak words of kindness
May your feet be quick to bring Good News
May your hands be ready for Him to use
May your shoulders be broad to lift up others
May your ears be open to people's troubles
May your mind be ever-questioning
But may your faith be a child-like thing
May you lead a righteous life
May you find such a wife
May you have courage to stand up strong
Hold to integrity all life long
May you have mercy on those who need it
Seek out wisdom, you will receive it
All these things I wish for you
But most of all, this, I pray you do
Know your God, the Lord of Hosts
Jesus Christ, who loves you most
Joy and Peace, you shall find
The Love and Hope of all mankind
Hope you guys enjoy it! Feel free to use it, but credit it to me, ok!
It is very good
Thursday, June 17, 2010
I've been thinking about my mom a lot lately.
My mom likes words.
I think they mean a lot to her.
I think my mom was blessed to have not just one, but four children.
Not because we're such wonderful kids. But because I just can't imagine how amazing it is that God's hand is working within your very being.
As it is, I often have trouble imagining God is with me all the time. How much more that God is not only with me, but He's within
me, designing every detail of my baby.
"For You formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are Your works; my soul knows it very well". - Psalm 139:13-14
I hope I'll be a mom someday.
It is a wonderful privilege God has given exclusively to women.
That He would come so close to us.
A man will just not be able to comprehend it.
You know how they say a pregnant woman has a glow about her?
I believe it's because she's in the presence of God who is constantly at work within her.
But the Bible also talks about Moses' face being radiant after being in God's presence (Exodus 34).
And there's no denying that God is certainly the One who has placed His fingerprints on every single child in their mother's womb.
That means me.
That means you.
And that means my mom as well.
I know my mom has been fearfully and wonderfully made.
I hope she knows that too.
(Maybe I'll print a copy of this for her)
I've also had thoughts of all the moms of children born with disabilities.
If any of you are reading this, you know what?
God has planned and designed your child to be exactly the way he/she is.
And they have also been fearfully and wonderfully and beautifully made.
God sees them, and thinks that it is very good that they are as such.
He made them, after all. =)
They are absolutely, without a doubt, covered with the fingerprints of God.
The one who is blind,
The one who is deaf,
The one who is in a wheelchair,
The one who is mute,
The one with Cerebral Palsy,
The one with Down's,
The one with Autism,
The one with Epilepsy,
The one with Trisomy 13,
The one with with ADHD,
The one with Asperger's,
The one with Dyslexia ,
The one with whatever-disability-that-I-have-forgotten.
God. Made. Each. One.
And God saw everything that he had made, and behold,
it was very good - Genesis 1:31