Sunday, February 20, 2011

Running Water

Apologies for the long break. In my part of the world, we were busy celebrating the Lunar New Year. Sure there is no excuse to not pen down my thoughts on life as it passes by, but after being on feasting mode for at least 15 days slack and laziness do set in a little. To overcome the slack, I've signed myself up for a 10km run in April, and I am totally unfit and unprepared as of the time of this entry.

As I ponder about the subject of running it dawned upon me that we had never stopped "running" since the day we were born. When I was much, much younger, running was always the preferred mode of getting from point A to B, even if it was just from the kitchen fridge to the front of the television set. At the ring of the recess bell, it was always the maddening run from the class to my favourite canteen stall as it always had the longest queue. I even ran for school Sports Day in a relay team. And even now, I am still "running". A different run altogether, one that requires my utmost perseverance and will to live. A run that everyone of us are involved in, called life.

Anyone can tell you that we lose water content as we run. Our body perspires and we start to thirst. If we ignore the signs and keep on running, eventually our body will be severely dehydrated and can have life-threatening effects. Hence, it is of utmost importance to keep ourselves hydrated as we run.

Where am I driving with this? Parallel to our Life run is our Spiritual run. The Bible tells us that it is liken to a marathon. When we accept Christ and set our hearts on the purposes of God in our lives, we are running in the race of faith. Perhaps you have seen some faltered and dropped out of the race, yet there are many who are still going strong.

As with a natural run, a spiritual run needs hydration as well. We won't last long if we never drink from the rivers of flowing water in God's presence. It is important to keep ourselves soaked in the Holy Spirit, through prayers and personal quiet time. You have seen images of runners pouring bottles of water, after drinking, over their heads as they run to refresh themselves. Isn't it a beautiful picture to have that as we run our race of faith, we continually pour the rejuvenating presence of God onto our heads and let it run down and soaked our entire being?

Don't be dehydrated as you run. Drink in His presence and Spirit today!

God bless!
Guy down the street...

Sunday, January 16, 2011

On Bended Knees

Every new year, we reflect back on the year before to see how have we fared. We measure how much have we done, or like many other people, wish we had done to achieve the goals we set for ourselves. It is very much like a self-appraisal, although this appraisal does not give you a pay increment, but certainly a greater degree of drive to be a better person this year.

I would like to propose something a little bit more radical. Instead of the usual how many kilos I should have lost or how much time I should have spent on the tracks, let's reflect specifically on a certain part of our body. You would have guessed it by now I am talking about our knees.

Why our knees?

I believe many of us never gave thought to to whom do we exactly knelt down to from time to time. I remember, as the only child growing up in a traditional Chinese family, kneeling down in front of the ancestral altar was a punishment as I would have deemed to have disgraced my ancestor and needed to repent and seek forgiveness from my ancestors. As a young boy I was taught how sacred the act of kneeling is.

As Asians, we generally know that we usually only kneel down in respect for our parents and elders. And as a man who has found his life partner, we would kneel down on one knee to ask for the hand of our love in marriage. But most of us are fortunate enough never to have to beg or plead for something on our knees. Think of the family whose only house is threatened to be repossessed by the bank. Think of the father who is the sole breadwinner being retrenched, having no savings to support the family. Think of the widowed mother whose only hope was for her son to have a proper education but denied of the opportunity.

As I reflect on these things, I began to understand a simple truth about daily prayers and communion with God. Kneel before the King of Kings today, and you may never need to kneel to beg or plead for your life from the evil one.

God bless!
Guy down the street...

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Musical Musings

One of my strong interest is in music. I don't listen to all kinds of music, but generally lean more towards instrumentals rather than songs with singing. People say that love is a universal language, I personally feel that the same can be applied to music as well. Anyone can instantly recognize the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Stars just from the music, although the languages it is sung in varies greatly. So I feel that I should start of my new year with a post that is music related. 

Music has been such a powerful shaper of my life. From music, I learnt the importance of rhythm, and upon the rhythm the melody is built. I hope you agree with me that EVERY song and musical composition has a rhythm, no matter how awful sounding some may be. Rhythm helps keep the beat in check, and as I have learned from being part of a marching band, following the rhythm saves me from having to do push-ups. It is the very thing in music that dictates the pace and the mood. Some have it slow, while others have a livelier and faster rhythm. 

Isn't it the same with life? That each and everyone of us have our own rhythms and melodies? It is the very discipline and routine that keeps us going, or not, everyday. The 7:42 bus, the 8:17 train, morning tea at 10, lunch at 1, tea time at 3, knocks off from work around 6 in the evening, the rhythm may vary but it is there fundamentally for us all. We may be singing different tunes everyday, but by and large our rhythm don't really change much. 

Well, what has this got to do with the New Year? For me personally, I treat the year 2010 as a beautiful composition that God made for me. There were changing rhythms all throughout the year, some slow parts, some incredibly fast, even with a few tricky ones thrown in as well. But that song 2010 has ended beautifully for me. And with the ending, a new piece of music is in place. The greatest part is, we can set the rhythm and let God write the melody. But be prepared for changes in your rhythm, as God always have a more beautiful piece of composition for us.

So, what music will 2011 be for you? I have chosen mine, and it shall be one that is embracing the unknown and overcoming it all.

God bless!
Guy down the street...

Living Life On The Narrow Lane

The alarm clock rings. The tap flows. The wardrobe doors opens and shuts. The coffee machine makes a  cup of good coffee. The microwave heats up a nice hot breakfast. Finally, the door opens and closes and you are on your way out for another day. Sounds a lot like everybody else's day as well, perhaps some missing out on the coffee machine part. And probably that's what I have in common with billions of others on this planet. I'm just a guy who lives down the street from everybody else.

Living Life On The Narrow Lane is inspired by my walk of faith in God, sharing personal thoughts on living a Christian life, and living life in general as well. I don't claim to be an expert on life, but with the little I have, I hope to be able to help others live better and more meaningful lives.

This will be my introductory post, so I'll keep it brief. I will be writing again soon, sharing my thoughts of embracing 2011. Until then, keep living life and Life will live in and through you.

God bless!
Guy down the street...