5 May, Friday — We worry…like Thomas

Friday of the 4th Week of Easter

Acts 13:26-33
Jn 14:1-6

“Do not let your hearts be troubled…”

An instruction, yet a gentle one. One that comes before the disciples would be overwhelmed with how Jesus would be tortured and crucified.

A promise to return and ‘take’ them with him.

Thomas is so real, so human, as he questions Jesus about how they would know ‘the Way’.

I’m not sure about you, but this would be my immediate logical question.

About 3 and a half years ago, I left my previous employer. I had worked there for more than 10 years. It was time to leave and I stayed to try and responsibly wrap up an outstanding matter. When it was sorted, I left.

I joined what was my first Asian bank ever. It was different. That was the word I used for a while. The word ‘different’ could mean many things. It depended on how you read it. Some took it positively, some didn’t.

As I was leaving my previous employer, I interviewed with all the Asian banks, or banks which had a strong Asian presence. I was seeking a place with a strong balance sheet and with activities spanning the whole spectrum of banking.

But I had also decided to embark on a 4-year course of study. At every interview, I brought this up. Some kept silent, some advised that the first 2 odd years would be busy as I would be moving clients across.

When I met the head of the bank I eventually joined, she asked if there would be night classes. Thinking this would be a sensitive issue, I put on my best ‘koyok-selling’ (salesman) hat and explained that while there would be night classes twice a week, I could skip them or turn up late if there was unfinished work.

She looked at me and told me that I had her blessings. While reiterating that there would be no downward adjustment in my budget and the expectations of me would still be according to the seniority they would hire me at, she surprised me with 2 other conditions:

  1. On the days I had night class, if the situation permitted, I was to leave early, have a proper meal, freshen up and go for class on time.
  2. Whatever I learnt during the course, if it could be of benefit to my colleagues, she expected me to share what I had learnt.

I turned down two other offers to accept this offer. It has not been an easy 3 and half years navigating this new environment. Different work culture, different expectations, the need to be a bit more patient in working to get things done. But I am in an organisation that has allowed me to grow and work with my clients in many ways that I have never been able to.

It was that assurance I received before I joined, that gave me the faith in the organisation to navigate the obstacles I encountered.

The disciples had an assurance before they entered the phase of Jesus’ persecution and execution.

Today, when I reflect on these last 3 and half years; I realise I had mine too!

(Today’s OXYGEN by Gerard Francis)

Prayer: We pray for the ability to identify and hold on to the gentle assurances that Our Father gives us.

Thanksgiving: We give thanks for Our Father, who is constantly assuring us in our journey through life.


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