Saturday, January 14, 2012

Lesson on Worrying

"Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?" Luke 12:24-26

Funny how worrying can get you into trouble--I lost my purse yesterday night.

The semester has just started. It is to be my last semester in NUS, and I have a lot on my mind: a university transcript that needs some serious polishing, and a compulsory module for my History Minor which I could not read due to a clash in lecture slot with my physics module, and the heaviest question: What is next?

But there were other more pressing matters that troubled me: among others an expiring passport, a dwindling number on the bank statement, some bills to be paid (yes I have bills). You could hardly blame me for being distracted.

On top of that, I was tired. I had just finished a long day of worrying and 3 hours of band practice for Sunday worship. Some company and an ice-cream before turning-in sounded great. So my friend and I went to the store at a petrol station near the church for my ice-cream, and then we chatted all the way from the church through the short bus ride and back to residential hall on campus were I call home. I was feeling rather cheerful by then, even chatted to the office lady who stayed back late to finish up, and offered a candy to the friendly security guard.

That was when I realise something was missing. Being usually do you put kind of girl (I'm contradicting myself, I know), I could be quite careless. An hour of searching and retracing my steps did not produce my big red purse. I was too frustrated to carry on looking. I cried a little, and then made a mental note that worrying did no good. I watched some TV, surfed some facebook, laughed a little, and went to sleep.

But that wasn't the end of my story.

I woke up this morning thinking "breakfast". So I dragged my reluctant piece of art out of bed and dragged my feet to where breakfast was served. The sight of friends cheered me up, and I whispered a prayer of thanks. Thank you Lord that the only things important in my purse were my Student Pass and ATM card. Thank You Lord that I still had my ticket to go home for Chinese New Year. Thank You Lord that I did not need cash for breakfast in hall. Thank You Lord that my morning was free to go lodge a Police report for my missing student pass.

The officer at the police post was really friendly. It took a half hour of pleasant time and casual conversation to obtain the police report I needed to get my Student Pass (and subsequently, my passport) replaced. Thank You Lord.

And then came my favourite agenda for the day--recreational softball with the Angmos at the NUS field. My softball captain Jamil was the one who always join their games on Saturday afternoons, and today I was finaly free to join him at it for the second time.

The Angmos are some of the friendliest strangers you could encounter. They make it easy for you to feel at home with them. No one plays ball too badly there, you either are a pro, or a pro-in-the-making, no matter how long the latter status sticks to you.

So when it was my turn to bat, I hit, and I ran, (at the catcher's instructions, who was technically on my team due to shortage of players =) Really cool to have a base coach on home plate. No seriously.) and ran, and ran my heart out, just to hear a 'thud' of the ball hitting the first baseman's glove as I put a foot on the line where the non-existant base should be. Shit, I thought, and pouted. But then the catcher shouted, "He dropped the ball! He dropped the ball!" I thought he was joking, but the fielders did all sorts of things in agreement and I was given my base. How cute, they were cutting me some slack =).

I parked comfortably on first base while the next batter got ready. That's when the first fielder, a tall man in his middle ages, a belly and some (wise looking =p)gray hair turned to me and said,

"Hi, I didn't get your name."

"Jerusha." (smile)

"Jerusha? Someone named Jerusha emailed me earlier this week."

"Oh really? Wow! So there's more than one Jerusha in NUS!" (my light bulb must have short circuited)

"Appearantly. That Jerusha asked for a webcast on my module so she could complete her History Minor or something; I was mean and I said no."

(Light bulb came on)
"That's me!" (Whoa, this is creeeeeping me out!)

"That's you? (I nodded) Really? (I nodded) I'm that prof teaching HY11101E."

"You are!" (I meant, YOU ARE???!!!)

Just then the ball flew off the batter's high into the outfield. I was hesistant to run, partly due to training, and partly still thinking of a response to the Prof I've just been so abruptly introduced to.

The ball missed the outfielder and hit the ground.

"Run!" I heard someone shout, so I ran. The ball was still not back in the infield when I reached second base so I ran some more. The shock finally hit me about the time I reached third base. Could this really be happening?

"Hey Chris!" Prof shouted across the field to the left fielder, "Ask Jerusha how I was mean to her!"

Iblurtedoutastringofwords in reply, and paused to catch my breath.

"What does that mean?" Chris didn't get me, surprise, surprise.

"She needed my module webcasted because of a lecture clash with her core module, I was mean and said no."

"That's very Tim," Chris commented. "Maybe you should consider letting her pass the module in exchange for her coming every Saturday for games."

Everyone laughed.
I was hoping that he could be serious, after all they were often shorthanded. At the same time I felt like I was wathcing a movie, unreal. I couldn't wipe the huge gapping smile off my face.

"Hey we should talk after this," Prof gestured to me from across the field.

I jumped and called him bluff yet he really was serious about talking, so I whooped like a kid who got her hand in the candy jar, and behaved as such until the end of the game.

Then we talked, and a deal was closed. I get to read my module both missing some lectures and without the webcast. Bottom line, I'm on to business. It happened so unexpectedly it was like getting a present when it was neither your birthday nor Christmas nor New Year. It was an answered prayer, a miracle dropped right out of the sky.

Funny how worrying can get you into trouble. Funnier how God solves your real troubles when you're not worrying at all!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Softball Injury

The ball hit squarely on my throat. Hurts like mad, but I could still breathe, so the pain is not what bothers me...what bothers me is the damage it might do to my voice. My joy in singing, unspectacular as my voice may be, is a gift I am not ready to loose. Tonight was a close hurts only slightly if I talk. If the ball had hit any higher, it would have hit my larynx head on. I still worry a little, but I'm confident the LORD will let me keep the gift for longer =)

Dear LORD, I pray for protection, and guidance.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Lost and Found: My Phone

Had a long day today, started at 5am, last event of the eventful day was worship practice at church, ended at about 10pm.

By then I was tired, and there were 8 messages on my phone demanding my attention. While we were preparing to leave, I was distracted, trying to reply solutions to all the problems posted to me in the messages.

4 of us took the bus home. I was the first to alight. We said our goodbyes while I tap my EZ-link card to pay my bus-fare on the way out. In one hand was my phone with a half-texted message in it, wrapped in the song sheets I was using during worship practice, and my small handbag. On the other was my purse containing my EZ-link card, and with a quick wave to my friends with my EZ-link-card-hand, I got off the bus in a hurry (the bus captain was in a even greater hurry). That was when I hear a thud. The doors close and the bus drove off.

I continued to text my message...wait, where did my phone go? I was clutching paper and nothing else. NOTHING ELSE!??

I can't believe myself. That thud must have been my phone.

By now I should have panicked. But it was total calm. Very very peaceful. I knew that peace.

Ask my closest friends and family, they will tell you I'm the biggest prawn head, most careless, naive and happy-go-lucky girl they know. They would be right.
I had in the recent months misplaced my purse, my library books, my favorite shoes, my I-can't-remember-how-many-more-stuff before, and many of those were cases worth panicking over. YOU would be right to ask "haven't she learnt her lesson?" But let me say that over all these experience I have learnt one thing if nothing else--if i have peace when I first notice something missing, I will be getting it back and soon. If I panicked it would mean I would have to suffer the permanent lost of my treasured possession.

As I watch the bus drove off, I had peace, I peace that I did not understand but recognize always reminds me of God.

I had no way of contacting my friends on board the bus, so all i could do was to first get back to hall.

I had good hopes that my friends might have notice it and picked it up. Perhaps that was where the peace came from. The walk form the bus stop to hall and my room normally takes 10-15mins. On the way I met Mitchell, whom I first told the incident to, in a rather casual way. "You look calm," was his amused comment. "I'll panic when all hope is lost," came my reply.

Next person I told was HuiShan, my neighbor. She offered me her phone and I dialed my number on it. If my friends picked it up they would have answered it by now. They didn't. This is good time to loose my calm. I became agitated, but the peace was still there.

Think fast. I buzzed Shumay on MSN for my the numbers of my friends on board the bus, hoping i could catch them before they alight. She didn't reply.

Why hadn't I thought of Ruth?

She stays just a few doors away from me. I knew she has Shumay's number. Her door was wide open but she wasn't there. Her phone was on the table. I grabbed it and went through her contacts list one by one until I found Shumay's entry under "N-Shumay"...WHY "N" ?? It felt like an hour passed as I was looking for Shumay's number. I dialed. She picked up. "Will you call Jeremy for me?" The optimum would be that Jeremy has it cos i'll meet him in school. Why would I think the optimum would happen? Call me a spoiled child =)) Ruth came back, amused that I'm in her room, on her chair, using her phone as if they are all mine. She is the only one here I dare do that to without prior permission =) The wait for news from her was excruciating. Shumay called with negative news. I was lying on Ruth's floor by now, letting self-pity take the better of me.
Shumay called again. Weijia has my phone, she caught him just in time before he alighted from the bus. AFTER ALL THE TIME I HAD LOST, SHE CAUGHT HIM IN TIME.
I made noises of relief. I suppose those noises would had been sobs of relieve had I have tears, but the tears did not had enough time to develop--I had too much of that peace. If you name the 5 stages of grieve, you can say I never had the chance to move out of denial. haha

I have come to know that peace as God's promise that He will, in all His grace and mercy, spare me from well-deserved heartache and trouble. It was with that same peace that I found my purse, my library books, my student card. It was the same peace that led me say..."the rain will stop before the next game" during IHG.

Today I must say, LORD, you are so so so so so so GOOD. And I thank You!!

Conveniently enough, I have settled most of all I wanted to do with my phone before I dropped it, so now i shouldn't be bothered of not having it till Friday, when i meet WeiJia in CG. Can't wait to share this thanksgiving item with the CG in greater detail.^^

This entry makes for a lousy discussion, I'm too worn out to make it an art piece. But I do hope you would consider the rough draft I drew here for you, and still come to the conclusion that I did having know all the details of this entire incident--that the LORD is SO GOOD, His ways are above our ways, He's pleasure is sweet, and His mercies endures forever.

Now i will get some sleep, and in the morning I can recount my blessings with even more intensity =).

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

In Memory of My Nameless Goat Kid

It died on me. After all the nursing and all the hoping, it died on me.

It's mother stopped producing milk too early. It does not recognise the bottle, and it obviously do not survive well on solid food did not survive at all. My dad is away from home, and in a twist of events I became it's care taker. My mom didn't think it will survive for long, but it didn't seem like a dying kid to me. Yeah it became too weak to walk, but it sure didn't act sick. Its bleat was so loud you could hear it above all the other goats. This morning it could bearly sit up yet it ate. It ate like a strong bull and wagged it's tail, like when a kid drinks it's mother's milk.

It's timid mother ran away at full speed at my slightest move, yet was interested in the feed in my hand, more interested in the feed than in its dead kid. Doesn't suprise me, it left the kid alone in a dent in the ground two days ago. I found the kid, thanks to its mighty bleating, and carried it home. It was too weak to get out of the shallow dent itself, yet when I help it up it walked. I fed it with specially prepared feed...feed soaked in milk. I also fed it tapioca leafs, the goats love it. It had begun to get up walk on its own again. Now I held the feed in my hand, and I just...stood. It had stopped bleating.

Did I feed it too little when it was healthier? Did I feed it too much when it was weak?

I'd miss it simply because I miss admiring it's little bleating, nameless goat kid.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Inter-Hall Games Epilogue

6 weeks of be exact, a 38 days period excluding 3 days without games in between...6 weeks and not for one game did the weather the went wrong.

It was January and February, smack in the middle of the monsoon season. We were on a tight timeline and do not wish whatsoever to activate wet weather plans and postponements. And so we prayed, my co-vice and I.

By the end of the first week I knew deep down that the LORD intends to answer our prayers all the way. We prayed for no rain, and God gave us sun. On days that is rained, it stoped before the games would start. On the days that it poured, those were the days when there were either no outdoor games scheduled, or no games at all; it was as if it pour to clear the skies for a sunny day tomorrow. The entire Singapore island could be under a thunderstorm (so says the weather nowcast), and all NUS would get was a huge black cloud, a wind and a few sad droplets of rain, and the games would go on.

For 16 sports and all their games, not one had to be posponed due to bad weather conditions. I am telling you this with all confidence because we kept watch, we watched and we prayed; and all through those 38 gruesome, stressful, tiring, and emotionally draining days of the Inter-hall Games, I had at least one thing to praise and thank God for everyday--the prayer answered.

I asked the LORD why? Why did it pleased Him to answer this particular unsignificant prayer? And He said to strengthen your faith, My dear child, so you would learn of My faithfulness; and because it pleases Me that you prayed it for My Name's sake.

That is why I am sharring this with you, just as I have with many durring and after the games, not to boast of my prayer being answered, but to boast of His doing, compassion and faithfulness.
The dear LORD Jesus Christ is GOD of the skies, and God of the heart.

Trial and Error

I have fell hard, cried; what is left is to get back up again.

"Surely it was for my benefit
that I suffered such anguish.
In Your love you kept me
from the pit of destruction;
you have put all my sins behind Your back.

For the grave cannot praise you,
death cannot sing Your praise;
those who go down to the pit
cannot hope for Your faithfulness.

The living, the living--they praise you,
as I am doing today..."

Isaiah 38:17-19

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Inter Hall Games

NUS IHG 0910 has begun!!!

Click the here or the logo to enter IHG 0910 website

Hhaha it strated yesterday with tennis. The weather was terrific! Imagine it rained everyday right up to yesterday, the day the games begun. The LORD is graciously good! As usual ^^

I was about to complain about the heat again today, but you don't complain about what you asked hahaha...

First day of games is a bit of a bigger challenge for us than we anticipated, but nothing really big that could go wrong went wrong, so yay! The LORD is good to us.

Just one problem...

We have a website on which live updates on the games results could be found...but the website could not be detected on search engines. -.-

So before we could fix that, lets just be more creative huh? :p

So dear NUS hallers, here's the link