"What’s in your suitcase?"
– now that’s a question I haven’t been asking lately.
What are we carrying around in our hearts and in our minds? What occupies our waking hours and our dreams? There’s a Chinese saying that says in my paraphrase, "What we think during the day time, I will dream at night." So very often, when I have a strange dream or wake up in cold sweat. I pause and ask is my unconscious mind working through "stuff" I’m unwilling to confront when I’m awake.
Maybe we should try an experiment, and keep a log record of what we are thinking about the whole day. Maybe it would look like this …
7am … wake up! .. Thinking about breakfast, getting kids to school, how’s their studies?
8.30am … driving along the road, wondering about why the traffic is so terrible, work issues popping up
9.30am … settling down in the office, drowned with instructions on what to do for work …
12.30pm … wondering about where to go for lunch … during lunch thinking about insurance payments, some personal budgeting
2.30pm …what should I have for tea? … opps focus … focus … work!
5.30pm … hmmm … dinner arrangements? family concerns emerging …
6.30pm … Kids homework … home chores … work burdens coming back again and again.
7pm … dinner …
8pm … in front of TV (surf the net, read a book, "lepak"), don’t know what I am thinking!
9.30pm … Get the kids to sleep .. wonder what will they be like when they grow up. Thinking about some time alone after they sleep
10.30pm … settle down, maybe pull the journal out and jot down thoughts for the day, maybe pray and think about God’s work whether it’s in the Highs or in the Lows, battle temptation to think about watching TV.
11.30pm … exhausted … drifting to sleep with thoughts about what’s happening in the country after reading the papers.
12midnight … dreaming … sweet dreams or nightmare 🙂
I guess everyone’s log will be different every day. But then from the log above, it’s quite obvious what I might be carrying in my suitcase. When we begin to see that, perhaps we can make some changes on what we feel need to change.
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Jesus message of unconditional welcome has always struck me as revolutionary. At the same time, we know it’s tempting to abuse the offer by our own deceptive scheming. We paint ourselves not as bad as we really are, or maybe we lay a little bit more blame on someone else, …. in short, we want the welcome without taking the responsibility of our actions or inactions. Another round of adventures in missing the point sadly. So, even when we are already welcomed in the circle of Jesus, our hearts keep on wandering off outside his circle because getting the welcome just becomes our stepping stone to achieve whatever we want. Deception is a poison to our system. Desperation is a totally different story. Desperation is when we admit the truth about our situation, it’s when we don’t lay conditions on Jesus as well, it’s when blame is not the main topic of discussion, but a genuine desire to move on no matter how shaky that move maybe. Desperation is also not about dramatic expressions or circumstances as well. Surprisingly, it can be when our hearts are "stilled" for a moment, and we come to the realization – Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God , Have mercy on me a sinner.
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It’s more common to hit against the wall when we are doing what is right and just. Being part of God’s conspiracy of kindness is full of narrow roads and stormy days. If we were just to rely on our inner resources, no matter how good they are, we fall short. It’s just too overwhelming, and we are prone to make mistakes. Sometimes, in our worst lowest moments, we might be tempted to spin round and round and loath in our guilt, shame or plain good old fashion frustration. But, today I’m reminded that there is a REFUGE, a place to regather oneself, to realign jumbled priorities, to unclutter entangled burdens and reemerge as a vulnerable instrument who knows where to draw the resources from on high and beyond human limitation. There’s no other way, if we’re joining the Jesus Liberation Movement 🙂 A friend reminded me of an old song, a personal favorite actually … "On Christ the solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand .. all other ground is sinking sand."
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These harmonics vibrated from May 19 – May 22, 2008