Friday, September 17, 2010


I've been having homesick spells for the longest time ever. This has never happened to me before, at least never this long. Perhaps I am coming to a crossroad, or maybe I am developmentally at a stage where I feel like I should be home and getting settled (ahh, when your friends are all married or are getting married, you really do want to be there with them). I really want to go home, especially when I have been away from my family for 14 years.

But something struck me one day. Remember our Bible friend, Joseph, the guy who was sold off by his own brothers and lived far away from his family until he became successful, and then met his family once again during the drought? I was trying to imagine how homesick he was. He was the favorite in the house, so I'm sure he received a lot of attention at home, and all the other good things and riches that I could only imagine. Unfortunately, the Bible doesn't really talk about Joseph's feelings, though I think that it would be really interesting to read his diary.

Perhaps God sent Joseph away to build his character and prepare him for a tough and important job in the government. Perhaps God also wanted to let him see the world as it is, rather than the bubble that he has been living in; after all, he was a daddy's boy. Perhaps God wanted to use him in such mighty ways that he has to undergo the tough training.

That made me feel better, knowing that God is keeping a watch on whatever I am going through, whether being away from home or missing the good things I can be experiencing at home right now. Somewhere down the road, perhaps God will make me look back and say, "See, this is why I separated you from your family for this long. This is what I've gotta do for you and to you, so you can get here, where I want you to be."

Then someday, like Joseph, I too, will experience a beautiful reunion with my family.

Monday, September 13, 2010

From the Heart

I was waiting for the elevator up from the basement parking when there was a car that stopped in front of the elevator door. Two Korean middle-aged men came out and started lifting heavy boxes (seemed like DIY furnitures).

Out of kindness, I asked, "Do you need help?" When one of them said, "Oh, yes," I froze. I was unsure how I should help. I didn't know what I should say next. Sensing my confusion, he asked again, "Sorry, can you repeat that?" Apparently his English was not good and he could not understand me the first time. So I repeat my question, "Can I help?". This time, he said, "Oh, no no, it's okay, thank you". Strangely, I felt relief, somehow.

Then the conviction came. Did I really want to help, or did I want to seem like I want to help?

I looked back and realized that so many times in life, I have offered help because I could foresee them being refused. And hey, at least I offered - better than those that didn't, right? Wrong. That's the first sign of hypocrisy, I think. The first sign of turning into the Bible's oh-so-famous Pharisee. You see the goodness outside, but inside the cup it's dirty.

Thank God for this incident that caught me off-guard, making me realize that I need to start wanting to help people sincerely, from the bottom of my heart, not just out of courtesy. Oh God, give me a genuinely kind heart.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Glimpse

I caught a glimpse of this blue ball that we live in from a distance.

The air was much cleaner and cooler up there, and everything looked so insignificantly small. One must feel the somewhat gentle yet strong breeze, it's indescribable.

I thought I saw a glimpse of what God sees. There is a sense of control, power, and freedom as we glided through the air; allowing the wind to take us higher, while manipulating the strength of the wind to take us where we want to be. It's a mid-air cruise.

Makes me realize: if our God is bigger than all these, what is it that He can't handle? If this is just a tiny creation of His, what is it that He can't overcome?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Greed, or Idealism?

I remembered something from the movie Troy. Achilles (Brad Pitt) was given two choices: he could either fight the war, lose his life and forever be remembered, or skip the fight, save his life, and have the continuation of his romantic relationship by living a calm life. He chose the first.

To live an influential and successful life regardless of whether it is positive or negative, in my opinion, your name must make it to the history book, like Mother Theresa, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, etc. So I wondered if I were posed with these choices, which one would I have chosen? Would I, like Achilles, choose to be remembered, in exchange of my own life and everything else that could have been?

And then I arrived at another question: can't it be both? Is it impossible to be remembered and yet have the other aspects of life fulfilled? Couldn't have Achilles participated in the war, won it, and lead his life with his loved one? Will that be greed, wanting everything good in life, or is that just being idealistic, that everything good can happen in one life, in my life, in everyone's life?