It has been two weeks since I am in Singapore. Since I landed, Andrew was generous in offering his place for me to stay. I took one room and this was my ‘home’.
But at last, tomorrow, after receiving my Employment pass, I will move to a room a friend helped me find. As such, this afternoon, I found myself packing again.
Through the process, there was glimpses of missing home. It felt uneasy to unpack to realize that I won’t be here for long.
Earlier the week at OMF, we prayed for a family in the field that’s been living in the hotel for a few months now. They couldn’t find a place to stay. No home. And so they were living out of their suitcases.
With moving, there’s a number of other things that need to do. Discard things no longer useful. Things ways to pack as much as possible (the inside of a shoe becomes good little place to put belts, mouse etc.). Have to look at the bus route and figure out how to go to OMF IHQ (International Head Quarters).
And so I sit with my suitcase packed and my bags fill my stuff. Leaving only the essentials, toothpaste, toothbrush, clothes for tomorrow etc.
Last night during service, the pastor preached on Luke 14:25-35. The cost of discipleship. It reminded me once again the cost to follow Christ. If we take a look at the cost, packing and living off a suitcase in a way is very small. Reading about Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s life and also listening to Francis Chan talk on seeking Christ first….the cost of discipleship becomes ever stronger of a reminder.
The pastor last night gave a strong preaching on the cost that we are to take if we are to bear the Cross…give up career, hobbies, lifestyle, comfort, home, friends, families….every bit of these which are ‘essential’ in our lives…to our identity…when we think of losing them, our heart grips a bit….it tightens a bit. Then there comes the human mind to calculate and justify. Surely Jesus didn’t mean to give up family? Well, that was 2,000 years ago…today it is different. My situation is different. What if I tithe a bit more or give to the church a bit more….that should justify how I live my life.
The compromise and justification of one’s way to live start to mount. I would think Jesus will have none of that. To follow Him is utter obedience. Knowing His teaching without action to follow through is not knowing them at all. Classroom teaching, lectures and sermons can only go so far. Those who follow will simply have to ….follow.
It was sometime last week when I was longing for home. Longing to go back to Canada. A time when I compare everything in Singapore to Canada. And in an unconscious justify that this is not how to do things. Canada, where I grew up with is the ‘right’ way of doing things. Yes, one will miss their home when they are out in a different culture. But dwelling ‘home’ in this manner is bad for the soul and for the heart. I made a permanent decision that Singapore is now my home. There’s no turning back. This is where God calls me to serve and so I follow.
In a way, God is using Singapore as a stepping stone for me to live out in the mission field. This is a merely transition of a journey which Jesus is the Lord and Saviour. So where He goes..I must follow.
As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”
Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
He said to another man, “Follow me.”
But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”
Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”
Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.”
Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”
Luke 9:57-62 (NIV)