Thursday, June 12, 2014

Amazing Spiderman 2: NEED / HOPE?

I love movies that I can relate to. Remembering Amazing Spiderman 2 – the main themes that are depicted so perfectly in the movie, which are NEED and HOPE. Peter Parker is NEEDed by the New Yorkers to feel safe in their community and fighting against bad people. He HOPE to be giver of HOPE to his society. Peter NEED to know the truth of what had happened to his parents and drawing the links of different events. He HOPE the truth is that his parents did not abandoned him and discovering the truth of all the links. Gwen Stacey NEED Peter to fight for her and not him just letting her go because her father made him promise to stay away from her. She HOPE that Peter is willing to risk life with her. MAX, the nerd who wants to feel to be NEEDed in his own community of coworkers and people around him. One statement of, “I NEED YOU” had given a glimpse of HOPE to Max. Because of his great desire of wanting to feel needed, in the scene of the city with flowing electricity and lights, when Spiderman took away his ‘fame’ when people had noticed him, he was furious. Instead of being partners with Spidey, he decided he is going to make people need him like how they need Spidey. He HOPE to be seen by the world and people counting on him. Harry, a rich man’s son NEEDs help with his genetic disease. With only a short time he had and his father’s accomplice that wanted to take over the company, he was pushed to the point of no return. Because of another man’s greed, he suffered the consequences of being in NEED. He NEED his NEED to be fulfilled. He HOPE to be heal and not die a horrible death. At the end, Spiderman lost hope because Gwen had died snapping from his web. It is in Gwen’s speech, that Spiderman begins to see the light of HOPE to fulfill a need.

NEED brings about positive or negative responses. There are many needs in our world today that craves for our attentions. The need to care and to be cared for. The need to give and be given. The need to listen and be listen to. The need to speak up and shut up. The need to take a stand. The need to pray. And the list goes on. I asked, what is then a NEED that I can fulfill in my lifetime? Where then should I focus my attention to? What are the drivers that drive me to the needs I see? With these questions, HOPE comes to mind. HOPE gives life. Hope brings change. Hope gives a positive kind of future.

In our world, everyone wants to feel needed and wants their need to be fulfilled or answered. There’s a saying that goes, ‘No man is an island’. This is because at the end of day, we are in these positions of being needed and fulfilling our needs. However, our former needs should not make us feel indispensable, where as our latter needs should not be the key to how we relate to people (to just take what we want from people to ‘fulfill’ our needs). Also, we want to be HOPEFUL too. We want to be the ones that gives people HOPE to live. However, we cannot sustain by giving people HOPE if our source of hope comes entirely from ourselves. We will eventually come to a point of drying out and needing to find the meaning of HOPE again for ourselves.

In a Christian worldview, Jesus is our source of HOPE which is the giver of life to our being. Tentatively, Jesus will be our ultimate NEED in life. He should be ultimately the one thing that our hearts desire most compared to many things that is in our life. Just like how the song, ‘Jesus be the center of it all’ puts it; he ought to be in the center of everything we do and everything we revolve ourselves by. From our perspectives, to journey on this race of life, we NEED God in anything and everything we do. We can rely on our own strength to run this race. It’s impossible. It’s impossible to say, ‘God, I got this life thing all figured out. I even GOT us figured out! I know I am strong in You no matter what happened…….’ But, the fact is we can never figure who God is ultimately. We only catch a GLIMPSE of who He is. We can never say for sure how strong we will REMAIN in Him. This is because we are human. Our eyes and perspectives will be clouded with disillusionment when we began to rely on our own strength to carry on this faith. We NEED God to grow even more hungry for His WORD. We NEED God to grow our faith in Him. We NEED God to overcome every single temptations that comes our way. We NEED God to help us see His fingerprints in our journey of life. We NEED God to teach us to be patience, to wait, to learn, to unlearn, to relearn, to forgive, to give, to praise, and more…in every aspects of our life, WE NEED HIM! Why? Because He gave us HOPE to venture on this life even how difficult it may seems to travel on. How then do I remained in this HOPE of God? By discovering Him through His Word and experiencing living in Spirit with Him.

That brings me back to the few questions I had asked earlier, “What is then a NEED that I can fulfill in my lifetime? Where then should I focus my attention to? What are the drivers that drive me to the needs I see?” The needs I see to be fulfilled in other people’s life is driven by the compelling HOPE I found in my Saviour. Even in my focus of my attention to it. I yearn to do a lot of things, however to do a lot of things is to go on a road that will not divide my attention to it which do not allowed me to give my best in it. So, I’ll continue to fix my eyes on Jesus Christ no matter what happens and be faithful in the small things He had given in my life.

Where is your HOPE?

What drives your NEED?

Monday, June 9, 2014

Trusting Game

This place of trust isn't a comfortable place to be; in fact, it flies in the face of everything we've been taught about proper planning. We like finding refuge in what we already have rather than in what we hope God will provide. But when Christ says to count the cost of following Him, it means we MUST SURRENDER everything. It means going like the disciples, going without an extra tunic or a place to sleep at night, and sometimes without knowing where we are going. 

- Francis Chan, author of Crazy Love - 

I thought to myself, how many will actually go as such? How many will give up all they own and go? There are some whom I had the opportunity to meet when I visit Timor Leste. They are called missionaries. With this entitlement, many ordinary people would think, "Surely they have a 'calling' to go to the 'mission field' and laid their life for others". THEY and US have the SAME EXACT calling! That is, the most important one ....'Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength'. The second is this: 'Love your neighbours as yourself.' (Mark 12:29-31)

You need to have a paradigm shift! Mission field do not only categorize when you go abroad, when you visit the Orang Asli, when you do ministry in kampung, when you go to a poorer region! Your life, where you are now is the mission field. The people you come in contact with, that's your mission field. What you have now, your work, your friends, your studies, your lecturers, are all GIFTS from God to live as a missionary.

In whatever you do, let it be unto Him. 

Now, let's look back at the disciples. Why would the Lord had asked the disciples to act radically to not bring anything extra / plan ahead in the next place they are going for rest? Because He is setting the HIGHEST STANDARD of trusting Christ. For them to be in a place of discomfort! For them to realise that it is not by what they have to continue on the journey, but by full trust in God.

Will it be the same for us? No, I wouldn't think so. However, I believe if the Lord would want us to journey as such, He would grant us the full assurance to go. But, you see many would take the excuse, 'Nah, it ain't for me to go through as the disciples because God never call. So God, I will take a rain check on that. Call me time or never '. Excuses, fear or just us pushes our focus away from what the Lord had called us to be.

From the example of the disciples, the Lord is ultimately DRAWING A PICTURE for us to NOT RELY ON OURSELVES and our CAPABILITIES, but to RELY SOLELY ON HIM! He is telling us to TRUST by FAITH and not with our eyes. Don't allow our physical eyes be DISTRACTED from what He has called us to.

May difficult questions come your way that cause you to think further! May you be granted with discomfort to push you out of comfort zone.

I pray when the doors of opportunities are open to us, we will be willingly answering that call of trust!