Wednesday of the 7th Week of Eastertide
“…keep those you have given me true to your name.”.
One of my favourite P&W songs opens with the line — “Who am I that the highest King would welcome me…” (It’s actually playing now as I write this).
In my 20s and 30s, I craved recognition from others — whether on campus, at clubs, even walking around in town — I somehow felt proud that people would recognise me (or think that they knew who I was). I wonder if it stemmed from a comment my dad made early on in my career when he said that it did not matter who I knew but who knew me.
So a consequence of that desire to be seen at the latest ‘happening’ venues and events/launches was the need to appear fashionable. And while my early foray into part-time modelling gave me an appreciation for fashion, it also burned a hole in my pocket. Then, starting out as a copywriter in the dog-eat-dog world of advertising, the need to hang out and socialise with all manner of contemporaries added to the ‘pressure’ of appearing to be cool and well put together. The running comment within my family was that I was supporting a certain well-known local club, as well as a now-defunct CD shop.
Looking back on those ‘desert years’, I certainly regret throwing my well-earned money at things that now don’t matter to me (I even stopped drinking two years ago). If I were to do an audit, I would probably have been a lot better off investing all that money, in order to reap the rewards now. And it all pales in comparison to the experiences I have been blessed with since encountering Christ a decade ago. The time and effort put into ministry have given me so much and He has truly helped me grow as a Christian. Not that I am the finished article — far from it. While I used to be so concerned about my ‘image’, I have finally come to accept myself for who I am, faults and all…and, in the process, learnt to accept others as well.
…not one is lost, except the one who chose to be lost…
Brothers and sisters, have you ever encountered someone who chooses to be lost — a family member, sibling, colleague, perhaps even a son or daughter? And do you agonise over how you should try and ‘fix’ the person? I was recently put in that position by a colleague and found myself praying to God for a solution. In the end, I went against all impulse and chose to ‘react’ in silence and to accept the situation, letting Christ in and trusting that He would lead me to the better solution. Instead of pointing a finger and judging, I chose to accept that colleague’s point of view and we ended up in a better position to work together harmoniously.
Reflecting on that episode, I discerned that I could have chosen to be lost in my pride, or let my ego get the better of me. I am sure some among you would say that I chose to be weak and to give in. However, I surrendered the situation to the Lord and, like a true shepherd, He led me to greener pastures. Brothers and sisters, God is our Creator and made us in His image — let us learn to realise that He is indeed present in all those around us; yes, even in those that we find hard to get along with.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Desmond Soon)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help us. To see the good in others, in those we love, in those we work with on a daily basis, in those who serve in toil in your vineyard. Help us see the good in others in spite of their shortcomings and their character flaws; because they are your sons and daughters.
Thanksgiving: Thank you Lord, for all those you send our way to help us see You working on our lives.