Gone Thy Moments Irreversible

150801 Gone.

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After shooting for the company, I was stranded at the bus stop [due to the rain]. You know the ‘aha’ moment when you spot a good subject to shoot? I had that when I saw this domestic helper and dog.

But I was 1 second late. The helper moved away right after I clicked the shutter. I was disappointed because that would have been my only good shot for the night. After taking a second look, I thought it couldn’t have been better [even though it looked a bit eerie]. I liked the fade out effect of my subjects which spoke of a moment that passed.

I call it ‘Gone’ because it reminds me of the moments we missed that is irreversible and can never be replaced. A significant moment in our friend or family member’s life, a moment we could have took a step of faith, or the chance to embrace the unknown.

Last week I went over to my neighbor’s place to deliver a Christmas present for Ian. Meng told me that Ian will remember me now that he sees me more often (plus the toy). In a sense, people are like children. We got to learn to break* schedules to catch and participate in the important moments in our friends and families lives for we can neither replay the scenarios nor catch back those moments.

O p i n i o n s.

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Take a quick look on the web and social media and you will find opinions (on certain issues). Follow the trending opinions and you will find individuals known as ‘opinion leaders’. The world listens and is shaped by opinion leaders. Opinions may not originally be intended for influence, but influence is often the byproduct or desired outcome.

Opinion leaders brings civilisations forward, moving them from antiquity to agriculture, from industrialisation to modernism, and currently to postmodernism. Opinion leaders has the ability to rally communities to right a wrong. But opinion leaders aren’t the only ones to appropriate and propagate their opinions. We all are. One distinctive traits of human race is our fundamental right to opinionate. We are all opinion leaders in our own right, broadcasting our opinions on current affairs and what not on new media.

But opinions when misplaced and misappropriated causes chaos and division. With our opinions we break conformity, sometimes not for the good of society. With our misguided opinions we confuse, discredit, divide and dismember individuals, communities and social order.

An opinion for the pursuit of justice and goodness versus a misguided opinion could be as clear as day. But in other times, distinction between the two is almost indistinguishable.

As much as I hate to admit, I am a strongly opinionated person (albeit not an opinion leader). But I understand that therein lies the fundamental need to appropriate our freedom of speech and right to opinionate at the right time and setting. At times, withholding onto one’s opinion can be more beneficial than making one’s opinions heard.

So tell me, is (having an) opinion a blessing or a curse? In the end, we are our own salvation. In the end, we are our own damnation.

#thoughts #blackandwhite

Fast, Forward, Fasting.

Fast Forward

‘Fast’ is defined as moving or able to move, operate, function, or take effect quickly (Dictionary.com). The act of being fast suggest movement; to move forward or advance to a certain something or destination. But I wonder how did it draw on a religious connotation?

Why is the abstinence from food for religious purposes called fasting?

A quick check on the etymology (origin) of the word found that the word ‘fast’ came from an Old English (Anglo-Saxon) term ‘fæstan’, which means to ‘hold firmly’. In laymen translation, ‘to observe’ can also be translated to ‘to fast’. Putting that aside, why do religions used the word ‘fasting’ to describe and mark the important occasion of consecration? Why can’t we use abstinence instead and save the hassle? Why ‘fast’?

In my own opinion, the act of fasting seems to bring out the essence of moving forward. There is a Chinese saying that goes “We rest so that we can go a longer distance.” Sounds kind of oxymoron; how do you make progress when you stop progress? But when we look at human biology, then it makes sense that we really do need rest to move forward.

Then it could and would make sense that as it (the notion of rest to go the distance) has been hardwired in our DNA and our biology that, the act of fasting – to abstain from food to reach for a divine experience or enlightenment – could really bring us forward. As we fast, we hold firmly to our beliefs, and in doing so, we move forward. Maybe that’s why the word ‘fasting’ was used to describe this important sacrament to consecrate one’s body. Fast as its name suggest highlights a movement forward. And to fast denotes a believer making a decision to abstain, to move forward.

Hence, it is vital that believers engage in the important activity of fasting, an act that in every essence highlights carnal abandonment, consecration of one’s body to a divine being, and the strengthening of faith [for a need or desire for something to come to pass].

Just like love, a father can sacrifice and give his best to show love; he doesn’t take. It is recorded in the Bible that battles of all kinds are won by bent knees and prayer (Hannah, Esther, Daniel, David, Elijah, Jesus), fasting (Daniel, Cornelius, Esther, David, Jesus) and the sound of trumpets-a vocal act of praise (Joshua, Jehoshaphat, David, Paul). The taking of victory is won by actions (Bent knees? Praying? Fasting? Praising?) that is absurd by human understanding. Why not fight fight fight? But that’s how it works in the Kingdom. Because there is a standard of procedure in the Kingdom and therefore, as believers and citizens we operate not by earth’s SOP but by heaven’s. God’s ways are higher than our ways, therefore we fight with weapons that are different but spiritual, different but powerful and mighty in pulling down strongholds.

Fast to move forward. And as we fast, we fast forward into the future and destiny God has set aside for us.

 

References:

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=fast

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/fast?s=t

http://www.shadesofgrace.org/2012/01/12/fasting-day-6-following-the-footsteps-of-our-heroes/

http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/articles/index.php?view=article&aid=20256

Instagram For The Win!

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And so I just came back from exile and like a prisoner too accustomed to darkness finding difficulty adjusting his eyes to the light, I am still learning how to find my way around all the social media platforms. One such platform is…. Instagram! I love it that I can post photos of what inspires me, or puts me in the crazed poet state. And so, I get to post interesting photos that caught my attention, plus write about it there, with much ease that WordPress cannot provide or compare. Plus, there’s editing properties that touches up the photos taken by the less-than-ideal camera that came with the S3. Not that I am forsaking my abode at WordPress, writing on WordPress will always be one of my joys [and hates because I devote a lot of time, energy and effort to research and find out on the subject topic I’ve picked] which I used to talk about issues that holds a place in my heart.

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Still, the truth is, I am out of time. No, I’m not dying. I have just entered a phase in my life called University life [and hopefully work life, so if you’re an employer, employ me la okay, okay, okay?] Enrolled in Murdoch’s Bachelor in Communications and Media and Public Relations double major programme, I am really hard-pressed for time. I am a firm believer that if we start on something, we should endeavor to not just complete it, but to complete it with excellence. Not a guy who’s particularly good with multitasking, I will have to sacrifice on some fronts to make up for school [and work, please God I need a job].

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So please forgive me if this space is empty for prolonged periods of time. Still, you can still see condensed versions of what goes on in my mind through my Instagram account. I was told by a friend that I write too much on Instagram though, so… not that I really care. But I was told by other friends that they love what I write. Herein lies my thoughts, musings and anecdotes about faith, hope, love, having a positive spirit, stuff like that. My last Instagram entry on THE MARRIAGE, THE VOW AND THE RING reached my highest recorded writings on Instagram with a total of 384 words.. So… sign up for an Instagram account! And follow me, walk with me and see things from my perspective. Plus I ‘write a lot’ for some Instagram posts, so you’re getting bang for buck! Kinda. It’s not all dead serious stuff. Some are just plain lame and stupid, or funny. I think you will like it.

I have some really sensitive topics I would like to address on WordPress, but that will have to wait till my term break. Be blessed and take care!

Reuel Write’s Instagram ID: reueleugene

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The Walk

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Have you ever took a jog along or stroll through say, MacRitchie reservoir park or Bukit Timah nature reserve? Walks like these usually begins with high spirits and the euphoric hype that “Hey, I’m actually taking this long stroll!” We start off on a high because we could see ourselves setting foot on the finishing line. It’s an accomplishment and it’s gonna be great.

Sometimes however, along the way the paths get narrower, steeper, darker, higher (more uphills), grimmer and, filled with potholes. All of a sudden, the euphoria dies down, pandemonium steps in, the excitement of the moment is gone, the high spirits mellowed into a sour one. Some might even wish they never embarked on that journey altogether. We hope for an easy way out, a shortcut or fast exit out of our circumstance. We tire out, tripped a couple of times, fall to the ground yet hoping somehow it will all end in an instance.

I likened this to that of the ‘Christian walk’, a term so commonly used and ‘defined’ as a set of rules and steps to living the Christian life or the life ‘God has called you to live’.

As a Christian of eight years [now], I believe that God has allowed me to see much, experience much, and sometimes those experiences may not be all that pleasant.

As a believer, for a huge part of my Christian walk I believe in the purpose and the plans [or Callings] that God has for my life. I believed I could not be shaken [in my convictions]. I truly believed that I was [called] to be blessed. If I pray, if I fast, if I gave, if I do this, if I did that, somehow everything will work out, I mean I seek God [for my portion] diligently and He said I will find it right (Mt 7:7)?

That can be further from the truth. Two years have passed, and God has led me through interesting experiences. He led me straight into valleys after valleys.

Some call it the ‘Crisis of faith’, where doubts and fears catches up to our faith, threatening to shipwreck it. First of all, through the valley experiences I’ve come to terms that I am only human (Ps 103:14-16). There were instances that I want to just quit, to end it all, to blame God. That lesson taught me that nothing is certain. We can’t say for sure that “God I will never leave or forsake you!” [Only God says that!]. Rather, we say, “God I cannot guarantee that I will never forsake You, but during times where the rubber meets the road, let me find the courage to come to You, let me find the courage to never forsake You.”

Next, sometimes we subconsciously subscribe to the belief that we have God all ‘figured out’, that we limit God to a box. If I pray and fast, I will get this end product. If I believe and speak, everything will happen as I’ve believed because God will ‘hear all my prayers’. We subconsciously limit God to a set of practices that guarantees 100% success, But God is beyond sets and patterns, measures and success formulas. Once again borrowing from C. S. Lewis’ quote, ‘He is wild but He is good’. Praying is good, fasting is good, giving [of time and finances to Kingdom cause] is also good. All is good, but the anchor of our faith is not based on any of those! Because God isn’t either! Jesus chose Mary over Martha because it is not our act[s] that qualifies and accepts us into the Beloved but our ability to just sit by His feet, and enter into His rest. To enjoy His Presence, that counts for volumes in eternity than all our works combined together.

Sometimes, we just need to breathe in God, into our soul.

And from there, you got to understand that God may work differently from how you have planned for Him to; He is wild, remember? But He is good. He has other plans. And sometimes, those plans may require Him to step aside and watch you pick yourself up from the fall. It hurts Him just as much as it hurts you. And during those moments, that’s the tough part for us to understand; in our natural minds. Sometimes, to be blessed, it comes in forms very different from how we imagined it to be; some to remind us and some to mold us right, some to teach us a lesson and some to straighten our backs.

To breathe in God is to infuse Him into your inner self, to invite the Chief Peace and Rest into your soul. And those moments don’t always come from just praying and fasting alone. It could come from an image that reminds of Him (see Of Lights And Skylines), while jogging on busy streets, while painting on a canvas, while dancing to a routine, etc. Because He created all things, He exists out of an activity, yet He could be found in all activities.

Today, i still believe that I am [called to be] blessed. But I also accept and give God full control and maneuverability in how He does so. Coming to that stage in our faith, I believe that is when our faith has been refined, having arrived at a purer level, more so than before because the initial excitement [of being a believer] has evaporated away. It’s no longer “God, I can do this for You!” or “God I will live [or die] for You!”. It’s not that I am no longer excited [for the things of God], no not at all. I guess that is what it means to mature in love, to simply come before God and say, “God, I just.. want to love You.” What’s left is an old soul, well acquainted with the Creator like that of decade-old friends.

And so, continuing from where we left off about the story of the walk, we fall from the walk and the hike, hoping that someone [like God] will pick us up and tell us everything is going to be alright. But when no one does, what we need to do is simply to get back up on our own two feet, lift our bruised left heel up, plunge it down in front, lift the bruised right heel up, plunge that down in front too, and walk. The Christian walk is a walk after all.

I know that the walk is going to be tough, our calling may be entirely different from what we’d expect, but I also know that as long as I’m within His plans, I am good. God is at the end of the journey together with the Saints, cheering me on. I will make it, I will step across the line, embrace Him and hear His whispering “Well done, My good and faithful servant. Enter into My joy.”

This is what the walk is all about, this is what our walk is all about.

May the same Hands that move the hands of time, move and have Your way in me. Soli Deo Gloria.

Oceans

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Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

– Oceans, Hillsong United

 

When I have You, I could walk on water, 

The great unknown shall devour me not.

So walk I shall through this narrow way,

Through hell or high water,

My trust is in the Name of the Lord.