Lessons From A Kiddie Ride

Glued to the latest issue of Kinfolk, I was waiting for an appointment at the shopping mall in my neighborhood earlier in the day when my focus was disrupted by a commotion nearby. A boy was making a din – crying and all – for not being able to board the kiddie ride. The father was trying hard to pacify his kid, telling him that it wasn’t his turn yet – there was another boy taking the ride at the point of time – that he had to wait for his turn. The crying boy insisted his ways, even attempting to hook his legs on the ledge of the ride while his dad was trying to pull him away from the ride. Incidentally, the ride came to a halt, the boy inside climbed out, ran to his dad seated nearby beaming. The crying boy stopped crying immediately, climbed into the ride and had a jolly good time, I believe.

This entry isn’t about thrashing the parent for allowing his kid to cause a din in public, neither is it about thrashing the kid for causing the din, no none of this. At least the boy knows what he wants, albeit a more public display of getting it. As I dwelt on the events that occurred in that short moment, I thought about how we as adults have behaved like a kid, insisting we get what we ‘deserved’, wanting what others have, demanding our right of way. We fuss, we sulk and we lament, complaining [to God] for not getting what we want, or for not having what others have. Imagine God as the good father, telling us “Son, you will get your turn. Be patient.” I like to see how God promotes us, fulfills the promises He made to us and gives us the desires of our heart, as a father beckoning his kid to wait for his turn on the kiddie ride. We may get discouraged when we see nothing happening in our lives and others’ elevated, yet God is not a God that He should lie. His thoughts towards us are “Yes and Amen!” He hasn’t forgotten what He had promised, we simply need to [learn to] wait.

Sooner or later, the chimes will end, the ride will come to an end, and it will be thy turn to climb into the ride and have the time of your life.

Ta-da, here’s the kiddie ride; the object of every kid’s attention, the source of fun and also the object of misery. Interested parties can drop by Kovan Heartland Mall, level 3. Riders weighing more than 40kg may not apply.

The RidePHOTO: Reuel Eugene Tay (Blackberry)

 

And yes God, I am waiting and will learn to wait.

Scribblings: Words

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SCRIBBLINGS DATED 30 JULY 2013

Words. A word of praise can take the listener-recipient to cloud nine and a word of encouragement elevates a wounded soul. On the flip side, a hurtful remark bruises the soul and a regrettable statement stings more than any physical punch could ever hurt. Like spilled milk, one can’t just say something nasty and have it retracted back no matter how apologetic one may be. No, the spoken word doesn’t work like an automated teller machine.

Words and wounded [broken] souls. We live in a broken-down world where so many people all around us live with the scars from the hurtful words of verbal abuse directed at them when they were young. Married couples who struggled through nights of verbal diarrhea targeted by the very ones who have previously took an oath to love and cherish them, employees who are paid by their employers in a form of salary and abusive words that seek to bring them down for every mistake they make. How much can a soul take? How much can one’s spirit endure?

Yet there can be a relief from all this; an oasis in the middle of the valley of dry bones. As much as we cannot control what other may think or say about us, we could control and limit how much impact those words can have on us. If a mistake has been committed, take responsibility, apologize, yes. But don’t accept personal criticisms that degrades self. Don’t drink that verbal concoction of poison into your soul. Reject those negative words, replace them with encouraging words. Self-talk if you need to. Our words frame our world, hence let only the constructive ones in.

Lastly, play the Trump card; the Jesus card. Know, understand and focus on what Jesus says about you [through the Word of God], mediate and rehearse those words in your mind, and finally verbally confess them out daily.

You are the Apple of God’s eye – Zechariah 2:8
You were fearfully and wonderfully made – Psalm 139:14
You’re worth the Son of God – John 3:16
You are the child of God – 1 John 4:4
You are God’s chosen elect – 1 Peter 2:9
You have a great inheritance waiting for you – Ephesians 1:14
You could do the impossible – Philippians 4:13
You have a great future – Jeremiah 29:11
You eat giants for breakfast – 1 Samuel 17:45-50

You don’t need to feel lousy about yourself. Bring forth words of spring and healing into your soul.

Remembering.

benjamin button

Anybody caught the 2008 film ‘The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button’? Button was a film adaption of a short story written by the Great F. Scott Fitzgerald, who was also gave to the world ‘The Great Gatsby’. It was such a beautiful movie to watch. I enjoyed every minute of that lengthy 3 hour movie. Unfortunately, it lost to ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ in awards on so many grounds.

Remembering Button, I could identify with the lead in more ways than one. Button was really a simple man, easily satisfied with life. He was also searching for a meaning to [his] life, searching to make sense of this life that he lived and everything around him. He had slightly more than unusual thinking patterns (Who could blame him? He was undergoing reverse metamorphosis!) I think I am a simple guy. I’m easily satisfied. Give me a good read (Okay, maybe a dozen), a good wife, adorable kids and I’m pretty much contented with my life.

Yet I think I think slightly more than the Average Joe. There, I proved my point; two ‘Thinks’ in one sentence alone. Perhaps during creation, God put more thought into my thoughts.

Sometimes I feel like an old soul. Young at age, old in my soul.

Recently, a distant friend I had the opportunity to know told that my writings were inspiring to read. I was glad. I was glad to have made a difference in someone’s life in speech, in prayers, in thoughts, in acts and even in a blog. I pray that I will always remember to be an example in conduct, to make a difference in every small way that I can and know how.

Let me be your vessel to shine forth Your light onto this world. God, in turn You are my Jaegar. Through You, I can do all things.

Making The Right Investment

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Don’t be so busy trying to be politically right with the world and everyone else that we neglects being right with the most important sort – our family & loved ones.

We all withdraw 86,400 credits from the Bank of Time daily, make the right investment such that there will be a bountiful return of investment when time is ripe.

Conversations With Uncle Chandra (Part 1)

Last Friday after Good Friday service, tired as I am, I spent a good 20 minutes talking to the night guard, Chandra. Learnt so much from this fruitful and humbling conversation. Chandra shared that Jesus and Christianity is good and he respects that even though he is a Hindu. He revealed something new to me that back in the 1960s and 1970s, there used to be a public holiday for Easter Sunday too, thus stretching to ‘Easter Monday’, making it a long public holiday break. During those periods, car races were held and people had lots of fun both participating and spectating.

As we learnt about one another, Chandra shared that he was part of the first batch of soldiers trained by Israeli forces when SAF was just formed! How amazing was that? His son was an engineer, and a brilliant one who excelled during his time in MINDEF during his NS liability. He was the brains behind removing the ‘S’ when it comes to filling up data so that today we no longer need to key the extra ‘S’ when we want to key in our ID.

Chandra said that when I come to church, I need to come before Jesus with my feelings; my heart, I cannot just come to church like a religious obligation. By coming to Jesus with my heart, then only can I expect help from above. Many words was exchanged during the short conversation, and with it, life from a 60-year-old to a 24-year-old as well. I am blessed by this experience.

Before I left, he said today’s a Good Friday, and also a sad friday (because Jesus died). I replied, it’s okay because He came back!

Uncle chandraPHOTO: Reuel Eugene Tay (Ipad2)

Short Story: Unfailing Love

Even before memory could be captured, mother cradled blood-stained Chester onto her bosom mumbling “I love you everyday” to him while being rolled out of the operating room. It did not matter that the young divorcee endured nine months and one final push, for the joy that set in supersedes the pain.

Mother whose once-beautiful hands are now all wrinkled up due to the hours put into hard labor struggled to make ends meet but always strive to give her precious Chester the best – the most meaty part of the chicken for dinner, the filling portion of the mud pie, his favorite storybook even if it meant not getting herself a replacement for her old clothes which were wearing out due to excessive use.

Like all boys, Chester was rowdy, played soccer, skipped classes and fought with other boys. Exchanges were made, blood was spat, principal was informed, phone calls were made. Mother apologized profusely and begged for Chester to not be kicked out of school. Walking home, Chester finally broke his silence and asked, “Mother, do you still love me?” Mother with tears in her eyes picked young Chester up and gave him the tightest bear hug and replied, “I love you everyday.”

Chester grew up in height and weight but that was not to be in stature. Falling into wrong company, Chester learned the ways of the street, got into more fights, arrived home drunk than sober more often than not, peddled drugs, woke up with a different woman by his side each time. His actions broke mother’s heart but her heart cannot deny itself for it speaks only of the language of love for her precious.

Chester was subsequently arrested, scheduled to stand trial. Mother visited, the two seek solace but was separated by a 5 centimeter see-through glass that stretched across the room. The broken Chester asked “Mother do you still love me?” Mother replied, “I love you everyday.”

Chester vowed to turn over a new leaf but change was not easy. Released on parole, Chester took up a decent job but fell back to his old ways not long after. Mother, the only person now to visit Chester continues to make routine visits to the prison Chester was confined in. While making one such visit, mother crossed the road too early and a fatal knock leaves her battling for her life, battling to see her precious for the last time.

Taking hesitant steps forward, the handcuffed Chester approached mother’s side in the hospital. Like birth pangs, that fades away upon the arrival of a baby, mother brightened up when she sees her precious Chester. Inconsolable, sorry Chester asked “Mother, it was me who caused you to be in this state.. Do you still love me after all that I have done?” With one last and final breath she could muster, mother replied, “Don’t be silly, I love you everyday.”

There is a saying “Mothers hold their children’s hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.” As Hill Churchill said, “There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one.”