Sunday, August 24, 2008

Finishing the Race

Date : 24th August 2008
Time : 11.59PM
Listening to : Nice Dream - Radiohead
Where : Bro's Old Room - Malacca

Today in church, Uncle Rodney gave us the Sunday sermon. It was about Olympian. Weird topic for a sermon right? But it's related to "finishing the race" as a Christian. So I've learned that finishing the race is more important than being number one. It's more important than being the gold medalist. It's "to will one thing" and go forward to achieve the goal. We sang a new hymn this morning. There was a verse in the lyric that goes, Will Jesus said "Well done" or "Go away"? I pondered upon this verse when I did my Quiet Time just now. I feel guilty for sliding away so far you know. I used to read the Bible every single day and I will write down the verses that struck me most and tried to understand what it means and also write down my thoughts in my spiritual diary. But after I came to college, I stopped doing so. I even stopped reading the Bible. I read it when I feel like I want to. It's gotten pretty bad because I feel so spiritually stagnant. I used to make sure that I have my faith at the right place but even that didn't stay. Sad isn't it? I used to think I might end up doing Orang Asli ministry one of these days but where did the will go? I don't know. I also used to think I can be of some help in Children Ministry, and that didn't go as well too. I've been traveling back and forth from Malacca to KL. I don't even stay in KL church long enough to know people around me well. I told a friend from BSGC I feel lonely. He said, "Yeah... So anti-social". I guess I am not a social bug even though I can pretty hyped up in event but only with people I really know. Ask me to talk to a stranger. And I can tell you I can hold a melting candle longer than I can hold the conversation. Yeh... surprise surprise... Chen Li cannot speak to stranger. Hold it if you want to laugh at this because it's unbelievable. It's true you know. I really cannot bring myself to talk to visitors that come to our church. I suspect Ah Hwei can do better than me.

Anyway, back to the sermon. Well... I've always liked Uncle Rodney's messages because it inspired me. And as mentioned, I tend to stay awake in MGC rather than BSGC. It's such a big church and I always take the back seat. And today Uncle Rodney said something that triggered me to think. He said, "You can never feel the sense of belonging in a church if you come every Sunday, warm the seat and leave after that." Something along this line. I guess I am like that when I go BSGC. I feel very very overwhelmingly lonely that I just want to leave asap. It's not that the youths are not friendly. It's just that we don't really have a common topic to talk about that can keep us in a long conversation. If I go for Bible Study, then I tend to speak a lot more because we have a common topic. Okay, I'm going to sidetrack a bit before I come back to sermon and stuff.

Today after church service, Andrew came and pick me up. Kim Kiat and Phoebe were in the car also. We were supposed to go Andrew's place for makan session. And I was dead quiet in the church. I don't know what was wrong with me. But I really don't feel like talking. Then when we reached his place, Mel and Ee Jin joined us. Later on Thye Chuan. I talked mostly with Mel and Chuan la. I made a mess out of myself with the satay sauce. And I started to bit a lil bit noisy for a while before my battery died and I kept quiet after that. The weird thing is, Phoebe was equally as quiet as I was. And she and I can be really talkative. But sitting beside each other just now, it was just plain silence. I tried to think of ways to strike up conversation but in the end I just let it slide. I didn't even try to attempt random topic. I almost wanted to ask her what kind of music she listens to but I thought..well...pretty lame to ask her that out of the blue right? And even worse, I hardly even talk to Andrew. And when I did my QT just now, I thought about the afternoon makan session. And I thought, "Look, he's going off to US again. And you did not even speak to him much. What's wrong with you?". And I felt like darn guilty for a lot of things. I'm going to be honest that I feel uncomfortable because I feel the need to keep a distance. And I feel seriously guilty cos' I did not make an effort to talk to Phoebe much. And when I prayed, I remembered the skit we did last nite. Jesus did not choose His friends. Why should I? Funny how the entire skit finally reflected my own life in a different circumstance. I feel like I need to make up for everything I've not done. So yeah, GA, if you happen to read this, I am really sorry here man. I'll do better than keeping quiet the next time we all meet. And yeah, tell Phoebe I'm sorry I haven't been a good conversation attempter/holder/starter or whatever you want to call it. I have no intention to make things so quiet. I wish I had been a better friend to you guys.

Then I went out with Juliana and Yen just now for dinner. We went Simply Fish and it was fantastic. We had Alfredo Pasta, Creamy Sauce Muscles and also Seafood Supreme. It's pretty costly I would say but it's good nonetheless. And we tried asking for extra lemon cos Yen was addicted to lemon and salt licking thingy. Hehe. After that, we walked to MP to get choc Mocha. Then we balik. It was not a crazy night. :) After dropping Yen off, Ju and I talked about our "cafe". We were thinking, if really at the end all three of us ended up together, we shall carry on with our 19 year old plan to open a cafe together. That was our plan and I think it still is. And I haven't let the idea slide yet. Hope it'll work out.

Okay, back to the sermon. So Uncle Rodney told us a story before he closed in prayer. I will really love to share them with you.

There is this boy who asked his dad, "Dad, let's join the marathon." The dad, already aging and having heart condition agreed with him because he couldn't bring himself to say no. So they practiced together. And they went for the marathon. They finished second to last. Then after the first marathon, the son asked for more and his dad never said no despite his age and heart condition. Then one day, he said to his dad, "Dad, let's join the Iron Man Triathlon." For those who don't know, Iron Man Triathlon is a very gruelling race consisting of ocean swim, cycling and running. It takes a lot of energy and stamina to finish the race. But his father said yes. Below is the videoclip of the actual triathlon that they took part in. I will let it end my story. And the message I want to share here will be at the end of the video.



hwei said...

sis was just saying the other day that the skit's very applicable to the youth also cuz we don't wanna serve when we're outstation. ah ha. God speaks.


Chen said...

Haha...yeah..I found it very very applicable when I really sat down and think about it.