Friday, April 08, 2011

A Long Day and a Wake

This is about yesterday. I suppose that the setting for this entry is the 39th Psalm. Everyone seems to love the 139th Psalm. Verse 14 is especially encouraging: "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Well the 139th Psalm has a lesser known, less popular cousin called the 39th Psalm.

"Show me, O Lord, my life's end and the number of my days;

let me know how fleeting is my life.

You have made my days a mere handbreath;

the span of my years is as nothing before you.

Each man's life is but a breath.

Man is a mere phantom as he goes to and fro:

He bustles about, but only in vain; he heaps up wealth,

not knowing who will get it.

But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you."

- Psalm 39:4-7

Yesterday was quite productive. I like productive days. I managed to work out in the morning (after finally forcing myself back into a routine of sleeping before 12a.m.). Did some light upper body and then went for a short run. Then I went to school to carry out some interview for a module I'm taking. That was followed by a lesson. From about 4 plus p.m. till 9 plus p.m. I was at one of my kid's mom's wake. She passed on due to cancer.



It kinda reminded me of last year. Around February to March, I was at the wake for another kid's dad, who died in a car accident. I had two trains of thought going on last night. Firstly, I was so blessed by the life of this kid's mom. So many people stood up to give eulogies telling of how they'd been blessed by her life and character. Prior to the service I was sitting there with my kid doing homework. (He was doing some English assignment and I was trying to revise Marketing 101). We ended up playing the tap tap revolution game on an Iphone. And I noticed that he still seemed rather joyful. In fact, throughout these last couple of months of lessons, I'd never noticed anything amiss about him. I would never have suspected that his family was going through all this.

Secondly, I was thinking about the 39th Psalm. When I shared with some Crusade friends that it says "Show me O Lord, my life's end", they were like "REALLY? Does the bible really say that?" And y'know what, last night I wondered about my life's end. I wondered, what will people have to say about me after I die. The ancients in the bible. They were always very concerned about their legacies. It was always a great thing to be told by God that they would be "made into a nation". I would like to think I'm roughly a third or a quarter through my life. And that too depends on how many more years the good Lord provides me. What am I doing with my life? I mean, yeah, I'm studying and that's good, but would I be focusing too much more on transient things than on eternal things? So yesterday was a long day and I still felt tired today. But at least I got to do a lot of thinking. I think I got a bit wiser.

Reading my journal... And How We See People Just two nights back I was reading my journal. I've been writing in it intermittently for the last two years (before that, since sec.2- but I wrote quite regularly back then). And I saw some entries as far back as 2009, the year I ORDed. I realised that there have been some big changes in the way I think, act and see things.

In Organisational Behaviour, we often learn about things such as Implicit Person Theory, incremental and entity theorists. In other words, people often come to a general conclusion about someone quickly. And we are often very self-assured that we are right. How often have you heard someone declare that, "This person is very stubborn/nice/impulsive/kind. I know because I have worked with him/her before on such and such a project." We often put people in a certain mould. I have put others in moulds before and have had the same done to me. We all have. But we often forget that there are two things that often render our views only partially correct. There's context and there's time. People behave differently in differenct contexts. If you were to ask my army colleagues how I was back then you'd probably hear some stuff like I was a disciplinarian, I was rigid, by the book... etc. You'd probably also hear a couple of nasty stories about me being selfish/nasty/indifferent/distant. Perhaps you might get to hear one or two nice things about me... just perhaps. That was me in the army context.

Then there is time. People really do change over time. There could be third factor. The third factor is God. Because of God's work in our lives, we often change a whole lot over time as we surrender to God. The way we react and think change a lot as God changes us. So I guess the point here is that we have to be careful not to have a single, non-malleable opinion of people. They do change. For better or for worse.

NS Book Project I realised that every time I mention the project to a contributor/ editing team member, the comment is always the same. It is, "it's been taking quite long ah". I got that comment from a contributor at the wake yesterday as well. So yes, it's been almost a year and two months. Yes, we're still working on it. I really wish it could be faster than this. But the good thing is that as this project has dragged on, I think we've grown wiser and more experienced in life. And I think we're a whole lot more mature in thinking than if we were to have pushed it out last year. I only hope that it'll be out this year.

Hopefully before my summer break ends. Hopefully. Faith, hope and love. But the greatest is love.

No comments: