Making Light of Things

July 2001 Archives


Sorry for leaving the cliffhanger. I made it! I woke up! Sure, my face is kinda swollen and I walk around with a perpetual headache, but I’m glad I made it out of there. I seem to have started an epidemic of sorts. Ai’s wisdom tooth started giving her problems as well, and she had it extracted yesterday. I actually thought of asking her out for lunch today as we had similar diets. Min’s teeth are started to hurt as well. Too much wisdom I guess. Anyway, thank God for all your prayers and well-wishes. It’s great to know that someone cares.

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I’m having four wisdom teeth extracted under general anesthetic tomorrow morning. When this was announced to the congregation at church people started laughing. Not the “haha it’s so funny” kinda laugh, but the “he’s so going to die” kinda laugh. Some of them came up to me and started telling me horror stories of the times they had to extract their wisdom teeth. The end was always the same: “Wah that time I only extract one/two, you doing all four ah!”. That sure helps get me all nice and toasty. I guess Auntie Elizabeth has always been there for me. Though I can’t say I know her extremely well, she has always given me a warm smile, or a welcoming look. This time round, she called me over and said “Don’t worry, everything’ll be fine”.

There are risks inherent with G.A. and though ridiculously small thanks to recent medical advancement, a little twinge of “what ifs” come to mind once in a while. Rather than pretend the odds aren’t there, I’d like to live each day as if it were my last. And the fact is, we never really do know when that might be. There are so many things I wish I were braver about saying and doing, and I guess this is as good a time as any to pour them out here.

To PJ, who reads my blogs more regularly then I write them: I wanted to catch you on IRC in order to invite you to church this sunday, and hope that you’ll not let the hectic life stop you from finding God.

To Mummy, that you may find our for yourself who Jesus Christ is. It has been a wish and prayer of mine for the longest time. You’ve been the most wonderful mother I’ve ever had. winks To Daddy, I love you more than I say or show it. Thank you for loving God in your own way. It’s been a light that shone for me.

To my sisters, maybe some day you’ll stop trying to end each other’s existence. Hopefully sooner than later. Know that I’ve always loved both of you even in the midst of punching your lights out.

To Serene, seek God always. Love Him completely. Live life fully. Die completely.

To Eric, Eddie and Matthew, you’ll be brothers to me always. If I wake, we have lots of work before us. If I don’t, I’ll still be with you guys in spirit.

To Bruise Li Mai Mai, it’s fun watching insults bounce off your thick skin (kidding). Hope my love for you permeates that skull (still kidding).

To Cheryl, I don’t know if I’ll ever receive a reply to the note I wrote to you, now that you’re so busy with work. I thank God for you constantly and wished that I had been there for you all those times.

To Mama (grandmother), thank you for the many chats we had over the dining table. Your love and care, like the many mats you sew, are seen all over the house and this family.

To Mama (nanny), thank you for making me who I am. In so many ways I’m a reflection of who you are and how you brought me up.

To Cindy, don’t code till you drop. Remember to bake biscuits once in a while.

To Lainey, hang in there. He’ll deliver. Always.

To the young people at YF: CONSTANT VIGILANCE!!! (Alastor Moody).

To Faith, I love you. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and soul. And love your neighbour as you love yourself. I thank God for everything.

To all, including the rest whom I may have forgotten to include: I hope that you forgive me if I’ve been a bad testimony for Jesus Christ, and I pray that by His grace you learn the fullness contained within Him. If I do not wake, I pray that this message go out to all mentioned above. If I do wake, I pray you remind me to live out the message I have for them in my heart.

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The other day I sent Eric off at the airport. He was heading back to Melbourne to continue his studies. Looking around at the many tears being shed at the departure hall made me wonder: Are those tears the exact same tears we shed when someone we love passes on? Do we cry because we are losing company of the person? Or do we cry because we regret not having lived as full a relationship as we would have liked with the person?

Dearest Eric, though you’re leaving for only a short time, I regret all these things. Though my face was free of tears my heart cried that day. I cried because I was now losing your company, and I cried because we haven’t been half as close these past few years. I can only pray that God heals all wounds, and so often I’ve wished that the sun didn’t set on our ill-repaired relationship. I am always yours in Christ, and will always be. Know this, and my heart would be contented.

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Feet And Other Appendages

It’s been a recent struggle of mine. It seems so trivial, yet so strong. The last time round I blogged about my wanted to get a Palm. It seemed a cool gadget to have, and I certainly saw its potential in many facets of my life. It would be nice to have a dictionary whenever I wanted one around, or a Bible, or Tetris. It would be great to be able to write down my thoughts the moment they pass transiently through my brain, and then simply upload them to my computer and paste them on Blogger. Having done all my research, I narrowed it down to the Handspring Visor Platinum. While most people had a Palm Vx, I wanted to go the other way this time. I’m pretty much tied down to Intel when it comes to desktops as Macs have yet to take over the world, so this was my little chance to do a bit of Apple rebellion. Besides, while the Handspring didn’t look as sleek as the Vx, in its heart was a faster processor. Oh, did I mention that its stylus was a nice weighty metal pen? Dang, let me go grab a tissue (Kleenex for all you Americani(s/z)ed people) and wipe the drool off my face.

Why was it a struggle then? It wasn’t the money. I had some left from a scholarship awarded to me last semester. It was about giving up. It was about consecration unto God. The more I held on to the idea that I should own one, the less peace I felt within myself. I had prayed so long ago to give my life to Jesus, and yet I was quibbling for control over this small thing. The argument was: Since this is a small thing, it should be ok, right? After a load of prayer, and with the help of a particularly unhelpful staff at Harvey Norman, I realised that God wanted me to give up every aspect of my life. The words I heard over the June church camp echoed in my head: If I am not your God of all, I am not your God at all. In a display of superhuman strength of will provided only by God Himself, I trudged down to MPH and got myself a pocket sized notebook and a Pilot G2 pen.

The notebook goes everywhere with me now. I added little partitions to its pages denoting where I store my addresses and phone numbers, where I write my random thoughts, and where I have my to-do list. On its cover I’ve lovingly decorated and named it my Paw Pilot (Stylus sold separately). I sit and stare at the notebook, looking through it as if it were some newfangled toy. I’m proud of my little handiwork and I see how Paw technology is superior to Palm. I can keep my own handwriting without utilising the graffiti form which everybody else now writes in. I don’t have to recharge its batteries. I’m not saying this to console myself, for if I had wanted to do so I’d simply have bought what I wanted. But it is a lesson that I have to learn, and its price gets higher the more I learn. Many years ago I accepted Jesus as the Lord of my life, and I intended to heed that decision. Like Michael Card sings in his song, there is a freedom in giving up the things which we hold on to so tightly.

Things We Leave Behind There sits Simon so foolishly wise proudly he’s tending his nets. Then Jesus calls and the boats drift away and all that he owns he forgets. But more than the nets he abandoned that day he found that his pride was soon drifting away and it’s hard to imagine the freedom we find from the things we leave behind.

Matthew was mindful of taking the tax and pressing the people to pay but hearing the call he responded in faith and followed the Light and the Way. And leaving the people so puzzled he found the greed in his heart was no longer around and it’s hard to imagine the freedom we find from the things we leave behind.

Every heart needs to be set free from possessions that hold it so tight cause freedom’s not found in the things that we own it’s the power to do what is right. With Jesus our only possession then giving becomes our delight. And we’re amazed at the freedom we find from the things we leave behind.

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The Long Journey Here

My struggles to update this page continues. I’ve determined that the best time to come to the library is before 2pm, when the multimedia section is dominated by sweaty, less-than-pleasant-smelling schoolboys who spew vulgarities like a mother tongue. Then came the problem of topping up my cash card in order to top up my multimedia account with the library. Apparently I had to top up my POSB account in order to top up my cash cash in order to top up my multimedia account. An amazing paradigm of efficiency this is. My POSB account has been closed since they decided that two bucks in there just wouldn’t cut it. Oh well, nothing’s for free anymore. I was kinda hoping the two dollars would somehow accumulate interest and become two million by the time we found a cure for AIDS.

So here I am, sitting at the library, with no sweaty boys to irritate me, or shadowy phantasms peeking over my shoulder (not today anyhow), and I guess I’ll update you on what has gone on.

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It has become exceeding hard to update my blog on a regular basis as the connection at home has started to reject the main blogger page due to its very fast turbo speed afforded by the huge pipeline of a telephone cable. As such, I have resorted to going to the nearby neighbourhood library in order to visit webpages should I have any inclination to. So do forgive me if the blogs come few and far between. Laziness is definitely a major factor : I live no further than five minutes from the library, but nothing beats having a computer in my own room connected 24/7.

In some ways I miss Arizona and the “home” away from home. Granted, my cooking isn’t anywhere as great as the hawkers in the nearby hawker center, but the small things like being able to use the car whenever I want and parking without fear of hooded umbrella clad ladies slapping me with a fine are the small things I like about AZ. Singapore’s great, as long as the mosquitoes and humidity don’t go all out to kill me. I’ve been keeping busy with being good company to Faith, and have been unable to keep up with as much reading as I would have liked.

I developed a sudden inclination to purchase a palm, one of those small organiser thingies that yuppies carry around. My normal notebook (the non-electronic kind) doesn’t do a great job of keeping telephone numbers and to-do lists.

Well this is just a short update on what’s up in my life, and it’s kinda hard to be really personal especially when I’m typing this in a public library with a person reading over my shoulder HINT HINT. Oh well, it is available online.

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And We Being Many

The last few days were spent at a friend’s place where the Youth Fellowship (YF) Committee had its annual retreat. Though not much planning was accomplished, I think the time we took to bond with each other was invaluable. It has been so long since we’ve had heart-to-heart talks with each other. I remember the times where as kids we used to write letters amongst ourselves. In some sense I feel bad for not having maintained those relationships with the level of commitment I would have liked.

Cheryl and Ai have grown up so much over the past few years. It didn’t seem long ago that we were campers at Junior Camp, laughing and having the time of our lives. Yet both of them are now in the workforce, facing pressures and responsibilities associated with the once-alien adult world. My heart still reaches out to them in a very personal way, and I know that deep inside me there is a need to watch over them as my younger sisters. You could say a certain maternal instinct binds me to these two.

Eric and I were once the closest of friends in a time not too long ago. I look back in sadness at how we’ve drifted apart over the years. It is not the fault of any particular party, yet I can’t help but wonder what actually went wrong. The closeness we now share is not the same as in our adolescent days, but a different closeness, similar to that of comrades I guess. It probably doesn’t help that I’m hardly the bundle of joy everyone loves to be around. Those of you who’ve actually met and know me have first-hand knowledge as to how boring I am.

So here we stand, childhood friends who walk our different paths of life. We remembering the bantering and carefree days of old. I long so much for those days to return, yet the responsibilities placed on us have now shaped us into different pieces and being less pliable it is harder to conform to each other. Yet I know that if we set our eyes on what is eternal, we’ll realise that we are all bricks of the same building, and the strength God places in us will be used to build His church.

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