Monthly Archives: April 2012
Process can be more Important than Progress
In this world we are usually measured by performance. When we do not show enough progress, we are often criticised. We ourselves are afraid that we or our children will lag behind others. But God does not see us this way. We are not solely measured by our progress but the processes God put in our lives. We may not reach the end that we hope to achieve, but God may put an end to it before we know it. Why? This is because God has finished His particular process in us and moving us on to another process. We may think that our children should have done better, but they failed instead. Why? This is because God is working a new process in them. We may think that we can move on, but similar experiences keep repeating. Why? This is because we have not learnt the lessons through these processes. We may make big progress or small progress or even no progress at times, but we are constantly being advanced in the processes of God so that we may be perfected in God. While God use us to achieve His purpose, He is also shaping us because we are part of His wonderful purpose. What is important therefore is that we get the most of these processes. When we work on the processes, we are sure to progress in God.
Ending Well is More Important than Starting Well
Very often we are very zealous when we start something. We may even invest a lot of energy into doing something when it just got started, but after some time when the going gets tough, we “lose steam”. The important thing is actually not how well we start, but how well we end. People can have a poor start, but as long as we can end well, we have lived a life well spent. Therefore, do not just measure our lives by how well you start the next time, measure yourself by how well you end. In order to end well, we need to have a constant input to sustain and grow the work we are doing.
Doing Grudgingly is Better than NOT Doing
We like to give excuses for not doing something because we do not like to do it. If we do it, we would be doing it grudgingly. As such, we conclude that it is better for us not to do it. Or else, it would only give us more headaches. But there are many things in life which we need to start doing even if it is done grudgingly. Without doing grudgingly, we may never learn to like what we are doing and as a result, we may miss a lot of precious lessons or skills that would be acquired in life. Therefore, before we decide not to do something, think again about the benefits it might bring. The benefits it brings can be more than the inconvenience it may cause.
What is the Will of God?
Many people spend a lot of time seeking and thinking what the will of God for their lives is. But many people are still unsure after a long period of seeking. They end up not doing anything about their lives. They end up being passive. Rather than waiting for God passively to show us His will, we should also think about what we want to do for God too. For a matter of fact, we may never be 100% sure about what the will of God is for our lives. But when we ask what we want to do for our God, this burden may gradually become the will of God for our lives. Pay attention to what people are sharing about the will of God for their lives and you will realise that many can accomplish great things because they dare to dream big for God. Whether the dream initially comes from God, we are not sure. But What we can see is that because of what they want to do for God, they accomplish the will of God.
Killed by Zeal
Zeal is a positive word. We need zeal to live our lives and to do the things we need to do. But I learnt that zeal can kill too. Zeal can cause us to be insensitive to others and just wanting to “bulldoze” our way through. It can cause us to disregard whether those who have less zeal compared to us or those who have a different aspect of zeal are able to catch up with us. When the differences are too great, instead of catching on to the zeal, we are killed by it. When we are showing our zeal the next time, be sensitive to the people around us. Others may not be feeling be same way you feel. How you are feeling might actually “kill” them rather than excite them. They may actually be put off by what you are doing.
Simplifying or Complicating our Teachings?
We can understand the strive for academic excellence. But the higher you go, the more disappointed you can get about the education system. People are always trying to impress others with their knowledge and language skills by the complexity in their writings. They seemed to forget the original purpose of their writings. If the writings were to be so complex and difficult to comprehend, how many people would be able to understand? What is there to be prideful of even if they have written a masterpiece that only few can grasp. The education system has been abused to boost our own ego. Those who are really good are those who can explain and expound complicated stuff with simple language rather than making it more complicated. The crux of education is to make as many people understand our work as possible. The purpose of education is to benefit as many people as possible, and not to impress as many people as possible. To all teachers, do not impress your students by teaching them things they cannot understand. Do not feel great if you have been doing so. If you are not able to simplify the complicated concepts you have learnt, you have failed and missed what education is all about.
Method and Intention
We often tell people that what is important is our intention for doing something. When other people hurt us and they did not mean to do so, we console ourselves by saying that their intention was good. But this goes on to mean that we can have good intentions but carry out using wrong methods. Wrong methods can hurt people even if the intention is good. The converse is also true. We can have the right methods, but our intention can be bad. There are a lot of people who are helping others so that they get selfish benefits. We shall not go into too much detail about this, but you can see that, right methods must be accompanied by right intention and right intention must come with right methods. Both are equally important. Next time, do not just check your intentions, check your methods too.
We See and Hear what we are Thinking
Our minds can so often play tricks on us: we can “see” and “hear” what we are thinking. The result is a distorted view which is not objective. We are then trapped in this thinking before we see with our eyes and hear with our ears. The distorted views become our evidence which further entrench ourselves in our own thinking. Let us be liberated from our thinking so that we may see what we should see and hear what we should hear.
I realised that we often pray only when we are convenient. We pray when we have the time or when we have a need. We reserve the leftover of our time for God. Sometimes, we are so tired when we come to God in prayer. But our prayer should be deliberate. We should learn to put down the things we need to do and offer the best time to God. The next time we pray, think, is it convenient prayer or costly prayer? When we pray convenient prayer, we may not grow so much spiritually because we are always feeding our ego as we pray. Only when our prayer is costly, we would become more like Jesus–more and more selfless.
Everyday’s a Grace
Recently I heard so much news about health problems. So many people around me have cysts problem and needed to go for operation. Even my niece needed to go for an operation because there were a lot of lumps in her intestine that make her difficult to pass motion. Life is so fragile. Everyday that we live is actually a grace from God. Each of us should consider ourselves dead. Then we would know each additional day we went through is a gift. We would treasure our life more.
Well, anything can happen to us some day. Even if we are very health-conscious, we can still end up having cancer. Treasure God’s grace, day by day. Don’t grumble when something bad befall you. This life does not belong to you anyway. You are just a steward of this life. Look forward to the real life, a life that you can own when you finish your life here on earth. Don’t miss it.