Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Forest And The Trees


A red sedan was following closely from behind.

A middle age man was behind the wheel.

He looked worn out and tired, most probably because he was woken up from sleep or he had a long sleepless night.

I was at the road junction leading to the main road when I first took notice of him.

He was very impatient to overtake me, driving very closely to my bumper.

I examined him from the rearview mirror. He looked rather old for his age, full of lines and wrinkles, with unwashed face and uncombed hair.

Then I saw him yawning, a long deep yawn, with tears streaming down his eyes. Oh! He must be really tired. Then I saw him taking another yawn, and another.

The front passenger was a young school boy, most probably his son. He was well dressed and his hair was well combed. He looked set and ready to go to school. He was determined and committed, probably well-disciplined in school too.

I saw yet another child in the backseat. He looked left and right, front and back, smiling and laughing away happily. He was curious as to anything and everything he saw; the world was a strange new place for him.

I was happy the father was not holding a stick of cigarette. It wouldn’t do him any good. Besides, it would jeopardize the health of his children.

I turned into the main road. The red sedan was still closely behind. Then my mind wandered......

Everyone is chasing after something in life.

The man may have a long and rough journey, feeling like giving up at times.

The young school boy is set to begin his journey well, feeling very committed.

The innocent child in the backseat is still wondering about his life, feeling optimistic and happy.

Some of us are like the man, seeing more of the forest than the trees, and are always stressful and bored.

Some of us are like the school boy, seeing more of the trees than the forest, and are single-minded and determined to do what he can.

Some of us are like the child in the backseat, admire both the trees and the forest, and are optimistic and happy all the time.

I wonder how little babies see the world. Do they see the forest or the trees or both?

How about you? What do you see?

The forest or the trees?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Speaking The Truth In Love


Some of us enjoy speaking. We want people to look at us and listen to what we have to say.

We speak with eloquence on certain subjects and topics. We use appropriate hand gestures and facial expression. Sometimes we raise our voice a little or talk louder than usual to gain attention. Sometimes we speak very close to the ear as if the subject or topic is highly confidential or sensitive. Sometimes we use our quick wit and some famous quotes and sayings to impress and delight our audience.

I enjoy watching people talking. There are always things to learn.

Once, I admired their eloquence, their ability to handle continuous speech without limiting vocabulary, and their stunning performances. They are talented and can easily attract many people to listen to them.

But now my attention turns to those who can speak the truth in love.

Now I enjoy mixing with those who can speak with honesty, conviction, integrity and sincerity.

I have great respect for people who can say “I don’t know” when they really don’t know, or “this much I know” when their knowledge is limited, or “this I do know” when they have learned enough to share.

I enjoy listening to those who speak with conviction on what they have actually experienced and have seen things happened. I don’t want imaginative and flowery details to make the story exciting.

I desire to mix with those who speak with integrity and sincerity. These people speak precisely what they practice. You don’t hear empty and funny talks from them. They are what they are, and they don’t want to hide it or boast about it.

But most of all, I love to go with those who speak the truth in love. These people know the importance of telling the truth. These people also know the importance of tender loving care. And now they are practicing both by telling the truth in love.

They choose their friends carefully. They share what they know and what the hearers need to know. They speak to edify and to encourage.

They always want to speak the truth in love.

They had experienced similar situations in the past and they don't want others to fall into the same trap and danger.

They want to share the truth in love, before it is too late and things become really bad.

Ever since I have friends like this, I desire to be like them.

May be you should also learn to speak the truth in love.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Carefree Wondering And Wandering


It was a cool and quiet morning. I was doing my daily routine in the staffroom. The office building where I used to work was still under repair. The electricians would be around to do the rewiring later in the day.

It had not been an easy week for me, doing most of my work in a messy room. But there was no use complaining or getting overly angry; what was destined to happen would eventually happen. It was better to just sit back and smile, and start to count every single blessing we had received.

Sitting in another teacher’s place made me feel uneasy. The table was clean and tidy. There were piles of students’ exercise books arranged neatly on the left, and a book rack in the middle, filled with files, textbooks and reference books. There were also a cup, two spoons, some small baskets and many other equipments and accessories. I was especially attracted to a pink plastic rose; it was plain but beautiful in its own way. I looked around for some sort of name plate. There! The place belonged to a lady teacher. Oh yes, I remembered her. I never knew she was sitting here. She was a hardworking teacher, very disciplined, systematically doing all her works well in the allocated time. From the look of her place, I presumed she most probably enjoyed every single bit of her teaching career.

Looking through the tinted window, I could see the palm trees waving, shaking and dancing, welcoming the daylight. They continued to maintain their postures and gestures, seemingly unperturbed by everything and anything that had happened.

I looked around. I could see no student loitering around the corridors and the path leading to the canteen. The bell had just rung and the lesson had begun. The students were most probably waiting for their teacher in the classroom, I told myself.

Then I saw groups of teachers walking together, carrying their books, rushing straight to their classroom, full of zeal, concern and love. It was an encouraging sight; it warmed the heart and lifted the spirit higher. If only the other teachers would do likewise, I told myself.

I could feel the cold breeze blowing, moving and turning around corners, rushing down the green slope of tall trees, bushes and beautiful flower garden. It would be amazing to have the cool air embracing and kissing me in the beautiful morning.

Then I woke up and realized that I was resting and rambling in a hall with the air conditioner and the ceiling fan turned on. It was very cooling here, I told myself and smiled. Surely it could be very cooling outside, I giggled with red face.

I returned to my work, catching up with what I had left behind earlier. After some time, I took another break, talking to some friends. Then I looked outside the window, and my mind wandered again.

Oh yes! I enjoyed this place and my carefree wondering and wandering.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Keep Smiling


It was Saturday afternoon.

I had just finished replacement class in the morning.

As I stepped out of the office building, I squinted my eyes because of the glaring hot sun.

I hesitated a little and looked around.

It was rather warm today, and windless.

I began my walk to my van, carrying my laptop and holding my jug of tea as usual.

Many students rushed pass me........hopping and running.

They must be very eager to go home, I told myself and smiled.

They looked pretty tired and restless, and I sympathized with them.

No one wanted to study or work on a weekend.

But sometimes we had to, to have a longer holiday!

I smiled to myself, rather sheepishly, I presumed.

*******

As I reached the van. I was sweating profusely.

Feeling rather thirsty, I turned my attention to my jug of tea.

Oh! It was empty.

I smiled to myself again.

I didn't know when I started to love smiling to myself.

But it felt good and it had been my best medicine in every circumstance.

I opened the door, put down my laptop and my empty jug.

Then I wound down the windows.

The hot air was turning my van into a sauna, I smiled again.

I waited under the shade for my youngest daughter who was studying in the same school.

It wasn't long before we started our journey home.

We had a smooth drive, carefully maneuvering through narrow lane with big swarm of students.

The van was very warm but the air conditioner was working fine.

Traffic wasn’t heavy as we reached the main road........

*******

We reached home early.

We had our lunch.

I rested a while and took a long cool bath.

I rested again, then began my Entrecard drops and Adgitize clicks.

I smiled again, rather happy with the flow of web traffic to my blogs lately.

A smile can really brighten my day and bring people to my life, I told myself.

My wife looked at me and asked, "Why are you smiling?"

I smiled again.

And keep smiling.

Monday, April 5, 2010

She Has Done What She Could


Mary Magdalene anointed Jesus with costly oil.

Jesus said, “She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial” (Mark 14:8).

The words struck me to the core.

“She has done what she could.”

*******

I sat back, took a honest look into my life.

It was so messed up.

So much confusion, some much doubt.

So much struggle, so much emotion.

So much anxiety, so much fear……

Sometimes I didn’t even know what I was thinking and talking.

Sometimes I didn’t even know where I was walking and going.

Sometimes I didn’t even know whom I was serving and pleasing.

My life was an absolute mess of all these!

*******

Who could help me?

Who could show the way out?

Walking in ever widening circles.

Talking in many riddles and half-truths.

Ever wandering, ever wondering.

Ever seeking, ever striving.

But just couldn’t find a clear direction to my life.

Oh! Whom do I serve?

What had I done with my life?

*******

“She has done her best.”

It was so far-fetched and distant.

So impossible, so unachievable.

But it was so true, so so true.

*******

I heard a distant cry of a child.

“I have done my best too. What do you want?”

It was me, me.......many years ago when I was young.

“I just want you to be faithful.”

“And I will be faithful.”

It was the still small voice that I had heard often before… many times.

*******

Mary Magdalene continued to wipe Jesus' feet with her tears and hair.

Her heart must be ebbing with her many sins and failures.

She must be crying silently at that time!

“Oh Lord, can I wipe your feet with my tears too?” I cried.

I knelt and prayed, crying for my sins and failures.

******

“She has done what she could.”

“She has done her best.”

“I just want you to be faithful.”

“And I will be faithful.”

(Have a Good Friday and Happy Easter!)