Thursday, May 11, 2017

Tiong Bahru & Moving

I was just watching a traditional Chinese funeral procession go past my window. A few old folks came to their windows and took a peep too. These song lyrics came to mind:

Goodbye my friend it's hard to die
When all the birds are singing in the sky
Now that spring is in the air

Where I live now in Tiong Bahru presents an odd mix of people. There are two main groups living in the SIT estate. Either very old folks who still speak in dialect, or young rich expats. There are hardly any locals until you cross over to the newer HDBs along Boon Tiong Road.

Singapore as I knew it, as my father and my grandfather before me knew it no longer exists. The roads we used to know and the buildings now stand only in our memory. In the past, if you'd asked me what I missed about Singapore while overseas, I would have told you that I missed the people, the food and some places where I used to hang out. 

Presently, my loved ones are scattered across the globe. All the places that I used to hang out (which is the whole of Singapore) have changed drastically. The food I used to love in my childhood too, either closed down or had its flavor changed. In short, there are very few things here that I will miss. And I am sure that in five years time, most of those things will disappear too in the usual pattern.

I am sad but I know this world is not my home. My grandparents and great-grandparents did not come to Singapore because they thought they'd get rich here. They fled here to escape religious and/or political persecution from abroad, as refugees. Singapore wasn't even a country in her own right then. And yet the Lord has blessed us with growing material comforts over the generations, culminating in mine.

If they had not made the courageous decision to move, life would be very different for us right now. I probably would not exist.

I am still not entirely sure why God would have us move again to another continent. It seems as though we are drifting further away from our countries of origin. But what does that matter in the end? It is not the starting point, but rather the finishing line that we look to.
"By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God...... All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they left, they would have opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country- a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them." (Hebrews 11:8-10, 13-16) 

Monday, May 08, 2017

Thoughts On Life & Moving

Every single time I get an urge to write, I feel like creating a new blog. My hands start itching to pull out one of my many new and unused diaries. But I don't, because I know that after that first entry, the diary would likely lie unused for the next few years. I'd also forget the password to my new blog and never write another post.

So here I am, back again...

Life is moving at the speed of life. If I dwell on the past, it seems to move too quickly. Swing my gaze into the future and it seems to move at snail's pace. For this year, God's been really teaching me to live in the present. To savor each bite, to enjoy the rainy day at home, to look at the people I walk past daily. J told me that I always seem to rush from one place to another, only to melt in exhaustion at the end of the day. It makes everyday life seem so meaningless and miserable.

The thing is, I am always thinking about opportunities and possibilities. I never want a moment to go to waste, so I try to capitalise on every second I've got- only to end up wasting all of it because I never bothered to pause and enjoy the moment. Everyday is a GO day for me.

I've been thinking about why God wants us to move back to the States at this point of time. I enjoy my work and the community of family and friends that has been established here over the years. Logically, I know that it would be better for our family to migrate at this point so that we can raise our kids the way I believe I should. But still I long to know the deeper meaning. I want to know WHY this (God's) plan is so perfect?! From experience, I know God may reveal His higher purposes to me, yet this usually comes in hindsight. If I were to know the answer now, it would rob me of the chance to exercise my faith.

I am so grateful for the past six years spent here. I've met so many wonderful people and forged deeper friendships with both old and new acquaintances. I met my husband and had two children. I've changed so much as a person. I feel older and younger at the same time.

Part of me worries that J might pick a state to move to that I will dislike. Hmm... I guess that's why He wants me to learn contentment and enjoyment in the moment right now. Because if I can't savor where I'm at in life right now, wolfing bits of it down will eventually make me choke. Besides, J might make a choice, but I know it is God who directs our path......