Control & Absolution

To seek the purpose in which we were brought to this earth. To gain control over our own lives. To be masters of our own fate. These are just a couple of things that most people would hope to find. Such goals are self-centered, which in turn gives way to all sorts of doubts, suspicions and questions.

The power of to have control over ourselves has always been a natural instinct. To think that we are able to handle issues and problems in all or most aspects of our lives. But what we seldom realize is that such thinking is flawed. Humans were never meant to be solitary creatures. We crave for companionship and seek for like-minded individuals like ourselves. We socialize in gatherings, and have a tendency to seek comfort in others when our problems become to great for ourselves to handle. But yet, the thought of keeping ourselves in control, to demand order and attempt to confront any physical or emotional problems by ourselves have become prevalent. All because of one thing: Expectations. We simply cannot entertain the thought of not meeting the expectations of our friends and families. The thought of disappointing them scares us. Ultimately, and ironically, as we continue to seek control over our lives, slowly but surely, that very control in which we seek slips out of our grasps. In the end, we live the life of what people perceive us to be, and not what we are meant to be.

As much as we try not to, the opinions of others still affect us, the expectations of others still bring pressure to us and the limits we set for ourselves are somehow governed by how others view us. It is a natural human reaction, and it is hard for us to deny such things from happening.

God made us all similar yet different. We are all blessed with different sets of qualities unique to us. No two humans are ever the same, they may be similar, but never identical. So why is it that we allow the expectations of another individual govern us? When we should be striving to meet the expectations and goals in which God has set down within our paths. Only He knows the plans for each of us, for He created us. Who are we otherwise to listen not to Him but to others? Who are we otherwise to not live our lives as He created us to be, but to live the lives that others have created for us through their expectations and mental images of us?

I’m not saying that its wrong for us to set limits for ourselves. Neither is it wrong to have expectations for ourselves either. But do all those with God in mind.When we leave Him out of the picture, we instead try to accomplish feats with our own strength. However, we are weak, in the end, we tend to bite off more than we can chew. On the other hand, there is no limit to the wonders and gifts that God can provide for us, and ultimately, He has a plan for us in which grow and learn according to His pace. Seek to set your expectations with God, and you will find that your expectations will be met. Don’t try to push yourself to the limit on your own accord, trust in God to stretch you and expand your limits bit by bit. To do otherwise will only result in tiring yourself physically, mentally and spiritually. There is no purpose in trying to live for the expectations of others, for they will be endless and of all kinds. Instead, live with the purpose of serving God. It is far easier to serve one than to serve the masses, and since He is the One and only, serving Him will ultimately allow you to serve others as well.

Do all things with God in mind, and those things will cease to be a chore or tiring. In all things in life, whatever you may choose to pursue: “Do your best, let God do the rest.” Trust in Him to guide and grow you, like how a son would trust his father to do the same. No parent would ever wish the worst for their child. As a child of God, know that He does all things with the best intentions for you. Let go of the need for control and the wishful thinking of absolution, remember who is your maker, for He is just and kind to all. Realize instead that He is control of you, and seek instead to serve Him better.


A New Chapter

Magic: “The power of apparently influencing events by using mysterious or supernatural forces.”

For a long time now, I’ve always been in conflict and confusion in matters close to heart. Most of all, about religion. Specifically, my journey towards being a Christian.

But the month of April has been nothing short of magical for me.

Through the grace of God, I have had the opportunities to know Him once more, to finally get it through my thick skull that despite all that I’ve done, He has never forsaken me, and that He never will. His love for us stretches out beyond the reaches of the sky and the seas. It is vast and endless. It has always been a matter of accepting that love. The question of whether or not I am worthy.

But I no longer care for such trivial questions.

Not when the answers are as clear as day for me to see. The doubt I’ve had within had me blinded and oblivious to the blessings, support and love that I’ve received from Him. The temptations have led me ever so far from His path and reach, and yet, He still loves and reaches for me nevertheless. Perfect love, the act of simply giving, without asking for any in return. With the sincerest of intentions of wanting the best for a loved one without the expectations of receiving in turn.

I’ve decided to pen down the memories and thoughts for the month. Should I ever fall into the trap of the evil one again and grow doubt in my heart. Such poison is intolerable and an antidote in the form of a reminder of His greatness is in order. So here goes…

30th of April marks the first of many blessings to come. A friend was made. One that would spark a series of further blessings in my life as I only come to know now. Clueless as I was back then, I was still thankful of the acceptance of such a friendship. It came sudden and random, and so with my heart steeled for rejection, I asked for friendship, in which the answer thankfully came in the form of “Okay” (which I took as a yes). Throughout the month I’ve learnt and shared more that I ever thought was possible to a total stranger at the beginning. It has always been a joy to meet new acquaintances and friends, and I am thus truly thankful for this blessing that God has given me.

The second blessing came in the form of new perspectives, and God’s way to pointing me back to Him. With a night of Skype and a prayer to finish off, it felt as if the lock, chains and sins that I tangled upon myself were lifted. It felt as if an evil presence had relinquished its grip upon me. I felt like a new man, with my eyes opened for the first time.

The third blessing came in the form of a gathering amongst people of faith. I’ve always felt awkward in a group of people whom I barely know. Yet, at that moment in time, courage was given to mingle and to know new friends. That however, was not the end. What followed has had confused and in wonder till this day. A total of 4 songs of worship were sang that evening, with each and everyone being an answer to every prayer that I made in between. The verses of the Bible shared from individuals whom I barely knew touched my heart. It was a curious thing to have felt and gone through.

Spirit Break Out
“Spirit, break out
Break our walls down.
Spirit, break out
Heaven come down.”

You Have Won Me
“Jesus, You have won me
You have broken every chain with love and mercy
You have triumphed over Death
and You are worthy of glory and praise.”

“By your spirit I will rise
From the ashes of defeat.
The resurrected king
Is resurrecting me.
In Your name I come alive
To declare your victory.
The resurrected king
Is resurrecting me.”

“You will lift my head above the mighty waves,
You are able to keep me from stumbling,
And in my weakness,
You are the strength that comes from within.
Good shepherd of my soul
Take my hand and lead me on.”

Funny how it all clicks doesn’t it. Even if its not a direct sign such as speaking to me, God truly touched me that evening.

The fourth blessing came when I visited Hope Church for the first time. I was late to attend the service due to other commitments, and I wondered if I should still attend altogether since I was already late. However, a promise was made that I intended to keep. Besides, there was a gnawing feeling close to my heart that made the thought of not attending uneasy. So I decided to cab down in the end. I have to say that I was not disappointed. Despite having missed about an hour of it (I suspect, and I have to say that I was extremely guilty for missing the first hour!), the sermon given that evening still spoke true to me, and I ultimately found myself relating to it. A new lesson was learnt with the knowledge given. That being said however, there are still several uncertainties in my heart, but I trust that God will reveal the answers to me in time. Besides, no harm attending church anyway. It can only make me into a better person. So why not?

The final blessing for the month came in the form of another gathering. A sports one, quite unlike the one experienced beforehand. I’ve always thought that friendship is easily forged through the medium of sports. I thus ended the day having one of the best conversations that I’ve had in a while. I was once again proven that maturity and wisdom do not come with age but with knowledge. The comfort of sharing past experiences and memories do not come with time, but with the connection and maturity of the company. Such comfort is rare and few, and I am truly thankful to have had such an experience.

Never would I have imagined such an eventful month. That being said however, I am but a seed, freshly sown into the ground. I have yet to grow my roots, and the dangers of being waylaid are abundant. Therefore, I’ve decided to just go with the flow and have in God’s plan. For He is my shepherd, and He will grow me in the manner in which He wishes. I am but a tool in His great master plan. I can only pray that my use would be of a good and fulfilling one. But then again, who am I to make such a request? I surrender my life to Him, do with it as You will my Lord.

So here’s to friendship and more! Cheers! How blessed are we to receive such endless love!

P.S: I’m going to end off this post with the lyrics of the song that I had once forgotten, but found again. This song has never been more apt to describe how I feel now.

A little boy of thirteen was on his way to school
He heard a crowd of people laughing and he went to take a look
Thousands were listening to the stories of one man
He spoke with such wisdom, even the kids could understand

The hours passed so quickly, the day turned to night
Everyone was hungry but there was no food in sight
The boy looked in his lunchbox at the little that he had
He wasn’t sure what good it’d do, there were thousands to be fed

But he saw the twinkling eyes of Jesus
The kindness in His smile
And the boy cried out
With the trust of a child
He said:

“Take my five loaves and two fishes
Do with it as you will
I surrender
Take my fears and my inhibitions
All my burdens, my ambitions
You can use it all to feed them all”


There and back again…

So…here I am back once again after a long while. It’s been years since my last blog. For all I know, these words may never see the light of day. But no matter, these words are not for the sake of others, but a way for me to write down the thoughts in my head. That they would exist forever, always available for me to reminisce the times that I would have long otherwise forgotten with the passing of time.

I do not claim to be a writer, nor do I claim to be a philosopher. There may be little meaning in my words, however, I’d like to think that whoever comes across these posts may takeaway a lesson or two from my experiences.

With the exception of God, for He is the one true master over all who exist on this earth. I’d like to think that men are ruled by two other entities. Death and  Time. Both are powerful entities, but yet forgotten in the course of our lives until the very end. Rare are the occasions when both of them don’t come one with the other. Where there is time, or more precisely, the end of time, there will be death. Where there is death, there will be the regret of not having enough time.

Time. The one true currency that has ruled over men since the beginning. One that cannot be bought, bartered or given. You can neither ask for more time, neither can you give it away. Yet, with such importance, most of us fail to recognise its significance. Twenty-four hours in a day might seem insufficient for some, but yet in excess to others. How you spend your time solely depends on you. Hence the saying “Spend your time wisely.” Everyday, at every waking moment, we are constantly making decisions on how we spend this currency. The choice to waste your time with the mundane stuff, or to go out and make the best out of the day, be it to pursue a hobby, to read a good book, or even just spending time with your loved ones. The decision is yours to make. Irregardless of what you do, the world will continue to revolve, society will continue to function, and time will continue to tick by.

In the blink of an eye, I have reached my mid-twenties. Yet, the memories that I have of when I was a young lad remain as if they only happened yesterday. A life free of worries and responsibilities are long behind me, with a ragged path full of obstacles and opportunities lying in wait. Time waits for no man, and I expect no difference when it comes to myself. I can only hope that the future will be kind to me. That the choices I make will be suited to the tastes of Him, and that I may not be led into the temptations of the evil, nor walk down the wrong path led by the devil. All I wish for is that at the end of the day, when my time is finally up, I can finally go ahead peacefully, to meet my maker, and say to Him, “I’ve done as you asked, I hope I’ve made you proud and became the person you meant for me to be.”

I once read in an article “You cannot negotiate with death. It is final, often sudden and personal.” Death is perhaps the greatest fear that men harbor in their hearts. Few have come to realize that subtle fear within them, and fewer have decided to come to terms with it and accept death as a natural process. It is said, that at the final moments of a person’s life, an entire archive of their life’s memories play out like a movie, from the first memory that they can recall, to the most recent of them all. The last words of a man are often “I wish…”, “If only…”, “I only regret that….”. That in itself reflects a sad truth, that most of us spend our lives not really knowing the meaning or satisfaction of life. Current society has made us into heartless machines, incapable of pursuing our passions and dreams, being instead chained and locked up in the endless cycle of temptations and superficial needs. These temptations and needs have hardened our hearts, making us cold and unsympathetic creatures. Filled with unnecessary pride and ego. “Humans are born alone, and we will ultimately die alone.” We were born into this world full of innocence and wonder, only to get corrupted with greed and jealousy, and regretfully, most people only realise what they have become at the end of their journey. The lesson that death teaches to all men. Humility, forgiveness and altruism. A lesson that even the most twisted and evil of men would come to realise the error in their ways.

In the end, I guess the point that I’d want to put across is that Time is like a river. No matter how much you try to bend it, or to stem the flow, the river will always find a way and reach the sea. You cannot cheat time, you can only learn to make do with what you have left of it. At the end of time comes Death. Death isn’t something to be feared, but rather, accepting it would bring certain liberation. To finally know that what materialistic gains we attain on this earth, we do not bring with us to His Kingdom, only our sins are laid bare, and it is through the good and bad that we’ve done that we are judged by. Pride and ego are unnecessary for “God created man in His own image.” In His eyes, we are all His children, and thus, all equal. No one is better than the other. Instead of pride and ego, compassion, love and kindness should instead be what men strive for. However, sad as it may be, there will always be those led astray by the evil one, who seek to pollute and corrupt the world. I can only pray that such individuals receive salvation, and that the world might one day change for the better.

By the sweat of your brow
    you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
    since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
    and to dust you will return.”
-Genesis 3:19