A billion people died on the news tonight/But not so many cried at the terrible sight/ Well mama said/
It's just make believe/You can't believe everything you see/ So baby close your eyes to the lullabies/On the news tonight

Sunday, April 17, 2005


Recently I chanced upon a church mate's blog and have been reading it frequently. He inspires me, really. Everytime I read his blog I am reminded of things I should be doing and shouldn't be doing. Often, his words speak into my life and heart. I thank God for speaking to me through this brother's blog. Who says God is untechnological?

I was going through a bad moment yesterday while I lay in bed, resting. My thoughts turned sinful and I actually sort of entertained them. People like Cuifen and Jarain will know what I am talking about. The worst thing was there was no shame, it was like 偷吃后不觉得需要擦嘴巴。I feel pained now thinking of the indifference. Then I got up and was tempted to have dinner with my parents at home instead of meeting Westin for dinner and cramming, and after dinner I switched on my laptop, feeling super flabby and nua. Surfing around, I came to my church mate's blog and starting reading his old posts. There was a link to a still animation at the blog and I watched it.

Watch it before you continue reading. There's music, and you MUST listen to it while watching. To stop the music from my blog, toggle to my screen (just click on anywhere in my blog that isn't a link to somewhere else) and press the Esc button. That's the small button in the top left corner of your keyboard. The music softens your heart and makes the cynical voices shut up. Watch the whole thing. The ending is when the credit comes out below.

To tell the truth, I cried. I saw the pain that I cause Him to go through when I defy Him and hurt myself (eventually) when I was reading one of the same church mate's post as well as another colleague's blog. Somehow, the pain came in a subtle manner but surely to me, the inner pain of me hurting myself and others. I won't be able to grow out of this sin unless I make an active effort to team up with God and let Him heal me. I remember one of my follow-uppers saying (can't remember if it's JH or CF) that I need to want to be free of this. If I do not want to be free, there's no point struggling. But I know the pain of being in the abyss of it all. I've fought so hard and painfully there have been times I wanted to smash my head against the wall of my room, crying out, God why did You give me intelligence? Would it be better if I was just an idiot, brainless but child-like?

When I was in Secondary School, I struggled with lying. It was painful. I was always lying and habitual lying sometimes still make its way to me. I often look at my other friends, envious and admiring the way they do not struggle with these kind of 'condemning' sins. As I grew older and started attending VFC after JC, by then it was only occasional, and the Holy Spirit would probe me and my conscience would condemn me for lying. Slowly I found my way to speaking the truth. Then I grew into another addiction when I started working.

For those that do not know, I have been away from Him before, though in my heart I always called myself a Christian, I always called myself His child. I never denied His love for me and mine for Him when people ask, and that was why I grew very stubborn when people (like my best friend's ex, who was a gleeful sinner at that time. God, please bring him to Your light. You know he needs it) happily point out that I'm sinning horribly and why not continue. I'll get angry and go away, but to a certain time, I have to admit that my flesh is weak. I know my weakness, and I do not always have the strength to turn away from circumstances that may lead to my shortfall.

When I watched the animation, I could understand the weary heart of the child in more than one way. In serving, and in loving, and in fighting the dark side in ourselves. So far I've only spoken about fighting the dark side.

In serving and loving, it is extremely easy to get weary. The most obvious example is caring for an ill loved one, and long-term care can pull on your soul and spirit. Another not-so-obvious example is caring for a friend who does things again and again to hurt herself subconsciously and emotionally.

In the video, a child is given a task to fulfill by God.

God tells him to help Him guard a post. "When I am gone," He says, "people will know where I have gone." The child joyfully points the people to the right way and gets filled up with even more joy as he sees his purpose. But the road is never as easy as it seems at times. It gets very lonely, and that is shown when winds blow and he is seen just alone. Soon, he is struggling to hold the cross up, and fight against the wind.

I'm sure you can see the metaphor here. We are that child, we are always children.

Then, one day, he fails and falls. The cross falls on the other side.

The child is lying on the floor, and I am sure part of him would just want to lay there forever and forget it. The self-pity as well as the "what the ^%$& am I doing this for?" is in the house.

Then he remembers Jesus telling him, "Would you guard this post for me?"

He gets up, stands at the post, a lone ranger. His knees buckle, he kneels.. and then he sits on his feet.

Then he sees Him. He starts crying, the pain he has experienced for so long and so deep is let out. He runs to God and God is also crying. God says, "My child, you must have suffered so much.."

To tell the truth, I have been tempted many many times to leave God. I have said, "oh what is the use." But the thought of burning in hell was not as strong a factor in not fulfilling that temptation as remembering how I struggled to come back to Him. I really really struggled. It was with the help of many many friends to pull me back into His beloved presence. People like Jinghe and Cuifen have probably prayed many a prayer for me. I understand this child's pain. I have been at the point where I have been zealous.. and then it got lonely and I felt so alone. That probably happens more than in a blue moon but one of the deepest valleys were when I felt I could not stay in VFC. I really really was like the child, my strength keeping my faith up, struggling to hold onto to the cross. I also feel like this when I battle my inner demons and I feel like yielding to them. And when the cross drops, you see that God does not come to the child in punishment, scolding. I have, with my friends' help, climbed back up and learnt to stand there, guarding the post. It can be lonely, and you can seem alone, but everyone is holding onto a post.

When the child stood up, and held on the post... I stood up and knew that I will have to win this battle, that I will not give up and pray that I'll never relent.

When God came to the child and both of them were crying.. God came to me in tears and told me that it's ok. When God hugged the child in the animation, God came to me and comforted me. He took my tears, and told me how precious these tears of pain were and my coming to Him in realisation was a good thing.

It's our duty. And one day, when you close your eyes in weariness, praying for relief, God will be waiting for you, kneeling next to you, hugging you and saying "My child, you have suffered so much..."

"Where ever you are.. be obedient..."
"Where ever you are.. be loyal..."
"I will give praise alone to God my Lord..."

I will learn to give my pride up, and learn to let God take over. I must decrease and God must increase. I see the works He wants to do through me.. and I must to be free of this addiction, this disease. I will learn to let God teach me. We all have a duty, and this duty of joy will be one that we must live with, that we must live for.

Matthew 11:28 (New Life Version) [Come to Me, all of you who work and have heavy loads. I will give you rest.]

Matthew 11:28 (New International Version) [Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. ]

You realise that there is one thing consistent.. he says "Come to me..." (all you who are tired, and carrying heavy loads on you)... "I will give you rest."

I have bared my soul to you today.

I have unburdened my load and received the peace, the peace that only He can give.

Will you come to Him today?

Comments on "Duty"


Blogger Linus complained! (Wednesday, April 20, 2005 12:09:00 am) : 

Yeah, the animation touches me a lot too... chanced upon it from another blog.

Btw, Patti Austin is singing Ella at Esplanade next mth. Interested?


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