Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Saat Lagu Berakhir

Saya akhir-akhir ini sedang menonton sebuat drama taiwan berjudul "Bromance". Dalam suatu episode, ada dikisahkan seorang gadis yang berusaha belajar membuat kopi yang serupa dengan kopi yang sering dibuat oleh mendiang ibunya. Si gadis ini terus menerus mencoba dan berulang kali menemui kegagalan, tetapi dia pantang menyerah. Seperti lazimnya drama asia, tentunya adegan ini diiringi dengan lagu yang menyentuh hati..... dan hingga ketika kita sampai diakhir lagu, akhirnya si gadis inipun berhasil membuat kopi yang diharapkan.

Buat teman-teman penggemar drama Asia, adegan seperti ini tidaklah susah ditemukan. Hampir disetiap drama paling tidak ada satu adegan dimana si pemain berhadapan dengan suatu tantangan yang berat. Dan biasanya, tidak peduli entah masa waktu yang digambarkan itu sehari semalam, atau selama waktu berbulan-bulan atau bahkan bertahun-tahun, biasanya pada saat lagu yang dimainkan berakhir, maka berakhir sudah perjuangan dia dan hampir selalu diakhiri dengan keberhasilan.

Sayangnya, kehidupan nyata tidaklah demikian. Terutama saat kita mengalami masalah yang terlihat jauh lebih besar dari yang pernah kita hadapi, kita akan mulai bertanya-tanya dan meragukan langkah kita.
Apakah kita akan berhasil?
Apakah akibatnya bila kita gagal?
Apakah keputusan untuk melangkah diawal adalah keputusan yang salah?
Langkah bijaksana apakah yang bisa saya ambil untuk menyelesaikan masalah ini? Haruskah kita maju terus?
Apakah menyerah pada saat ini merupakan suatu langkah yang tepat?

Saat seperti inilah kita akan bertanya, apakah yang terjadi saat lagu berakhir?
Saat deadline tiba dan pekerjaan tidak selesai... apakah yang akan terjadi?
Saat omzet tidak memenuhi untuk membayar gaji karyawan.. apakah yang harus kita lakukan?
Saat kerja non-stop hingga mengorbankan waktu tidur pun tetap tidak dapat mencapai target yang diberikan... yang terbaik seperti apa lagi yang bisa kita lakukan?
Apakah yang terjadi saat lagu berakhir... ketika hidup ini bukan sebuah cerita??

Tetapi taukah kawanku... hidup kita adalah sebuah cerita... hidup kita adalah cerita kesaksian kita, dan saat kita hidup bersama Tuhan, Dia adalah sutradara kita.

 Bila membandingkan lagu hidup kita dengan Mazmur Daud, sungguh menarik untuk mempelajari pergumulan-pergumulan Daud melalui lagu-lagu yang dia tulis - terutama lagu yang menggambarkan jeritan hati Daud saat meminta tolong. Semua lagu-lagu tersebut diakhiri dengan pujian dan syukur atas kebaikan Tuhan. Walaupun bagi kita yang sudah mengetahui cerita kehidupan Daud mungkin mengganggap hal ini sebagai hal yang biasa, tapi sadarkah kita bahwa saat Daud menulis lagu/doa tersebut, dia masih berada dalam kesulitan? Saya percaya Daud menulis lagu tersebut sebagai doa yang utuh. Dia tidak berhenti menunggu "sukses/aman" sebelum kemudian melanjutkan menulis bagian akhir lagu itu. Justru, dalam kesesakan dan dalam keputusasaanlah Daud melihat kedepan dengan iman dan berkata, "aku hendak bersyukur kepada-Mu selama-lamanya..." (Mazmur 52:9)

Bagaimanakah dengan kita? Haruskah kita menunggu "sukses" sebelum berkata, "kepada Allah aku percaya, aku tidak takut" (Mazmur 56:11)?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Why A Bee?

Came across this lovely story - used it in one of my papers long time ago. An almost forgotten story - hopefully a never forgotten lesson. Sadly, the author is unknown... Anybody out there remembering writing this?

Why a Bee?

Once upon a time the animals had a school. They had four subjects: running, climbing, flying, and swimming-and all animals took all subjects.

The duck was good at swimming, better than the teachers in fact. He made passing grades in running and flying, but he was almost hopeless in climbing. So they made him drop swimming to practice more climbing. Soon he was only average in swimming. But average is OK, and nobody worried much about it except the duck.

The eagle was considered a troublemaker. In his climbing class he beat everybody to the top of the tree, but he had his own way of getting there, which was against the rules. He always had to stay after school and write, Cheating is wrong 500 times.
This kept him from soaring, which he loved. But schoolwork comes first.

The bear flunked because they said he was lazy, especially in winter. His best time was summer, but school wasn't open then.

The penguin never went to school because he couldn't leave home, and they wouldn't start a school out where he lived.

The zebra played hooky – a lot. The ponies made fun of his stripes, and that made him very sad.

The kangaroo started out at the top of the running class, but got discouraged trying to run on all fours like the other kids.

The fish quit school because he was bored. To him all four subjects were the same, but nobody understood that.

They had never been a fish.

The squirrel got A's in climbing, but his flying teacher made him start from the ground up instead of the treetop down. His legs got so sore from practicing takeoffs that he began getting C's and D's in running.

But the bee was the biggest problem of all, so the teacher sent him to Dr. Owl for testing. Dr. Owl said that the bees wings were just too small for flying and besides they were in the wrong place. But the bee never saw Dr. Owls report, so he just went ahead and flew anyway.

I think I know a bee or two, don't you?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Certain in God's Faithfulness?

I like to watch TV. I admit, sometimes I watch too much TV. And because I tend to forget the story after a while, it's become a habit of mine to re-watch my favorite shows from time to time. Looking at all those TV shows, I came to realize that I am a kind of person who likes to watch a strong and solid character. Series like Bones and Castle, my favorite kind ^_^, are very entertaining because it gives us 'perfect' characters who are very capable to do their jobs and in fact, at the top of their game. Though, like any other good stories, they often encounter problems, you'd still get the feeling that everything would be okay at the end because those leaders are good.

Other more challenging series like Life, however, is just okay for me because watching it can create an unsettling feeling. While it is a very good series, I often feel restless watching it because there is always a possibility that the lead character would do something stupid that can ruin his life. Call me silly, but I really don't like that feeling. For me, watching TV is supposed to be relaxing and enjoyable moment.

Anyway, why am I talking about TV series? Well, today devotion focuses on certainty in God's faithfulness. It talks about how Jesus, even through His last moment, was so certain in God's faithfulness that His faith radiates to His disciples and it guides Him through the suffering.

We all like certainty. It's kind of funny that way. Because there are many unpredictable events in our lives, we like to keep everything that's close to us very predictable. That's why trust and honesty become very crucial in any relationship because we need a certainty that we can count on those who are close to us in time of needs.

The question is how about our relationship with God. I know that I am not dependable, but can I trust God to be dependable? While it seems like an easy question to answer, I know that many times in my life, I doubt God for no reason. It's kind of sad that I found certainty in my favorite TV series but couldn't find it in my relationship with God.

Walker says, "Jesus was so sure that God's faithfulness would be present in all circumstances that his certainty radiated throughout his whole being" (2009, p.22). Wow... can I radiate with certainty? I guess that's a question I have to answer with my life.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Look at Things Above?

I have been watching the TED for last couple of days and learned so much about new technology. I'm quite impressed that they make the presentation available for everyone to see. One of the presentation talks about perception.

The presenter gives an illustration that when we look down to our feet, our range of perception is very limited. Yes, we can still walk and it's fine, but we would not be able to prepare ourselves against possible danger that might come.

When we start to raise our head, then our range of view will expand which gives us a better chance to survive since we can see the danger that might come from in front of us and helps us to relate to those around us.

However, our lives is not just about surviving, but about improving and enjoying life. That's why, from time to time, we want to lift our head up and see things slightly above us. That way, we can enjoy the sky and make attempt to improve the qualities of our lives.

The presenter then jokingly warns that while want to be able to look up, we need to be careful to know when to stop. If we continue to look up and up, we would eventually lose sight of everything and can only look at view directly above us. He says that it's "God". He then jokingly says that "God is the answer when there is no answer" (it's more like a mockery statement rather than a belief statement).

While people laughed and found it funny, I personally found it ironic because I really believe it's true and no other people has put it in a better word than the person who doesn't believe in it. (Please note I do NOT know his background belief and all my arguments are based on my perception of him). Yes, it might seem funny, but this is the key of my belief. In fact, without regularly 'looking up', I don't think I could survive in this confusing world. Without 'looking up', I wouldn't even know where to go. Quite opposite to the presenter, I find 'looking up' is the key to look forward in life.

In one of the devotion, Walker quotes Colossians 3:2 as the Bible verse which says, "Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things". I do believe that this is the key to walk our Christian lives. After all, our home is not on earth but it's in heaven.

Please note that I do NOT own these pictures.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Funny little thing called FAITH

One of the big topic for the last couple days of devotion seems to spin around this little and powerful thing called faith.
What is faith anyway?

Religious people sees it as the key of their belief
Rationalist calls it (quoted from my favorite TV series, "Bones") "an irrational belief in something that is logically impossible"
Marxism argues it to be "the opiate of the people"
And for most of us, we tend to treat it as an encouraging word when nothing else seems to work.

What is Faith anyway?

The bible describes faith as "being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" (Hebrews 11:1). This definition didn't make a lot of sense to me before. I used to like this sentence just because it sounds smart and intelligent but I didn't really understand what it means. Lately, it started to click together for me.

For me, faith is a conviction of the heart of what we believe in. While we can try to convince ourselves by saying that we believe, our heart knows the truth in us. The key is not about knowing or saying that we believe, the key is to convince our heart. That's why in Mark 9:24 we got a statement such as "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!".

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Reflection 4: He Is Amazing

Today's devotion titled, "It's the 'WOW!', not the HOW" (Walker, 2009, p.16). Like the title suggests, the lesson today focuses on changing our perspective of what the Lord has done for us. Through this lesson, Walker (2009) challenges us to say "WOW!" for everything that the Lord had done instead of "HOW?".

While I am not opposing the idea to find the learn about bible and to dig deeper and deeper to get a little closer to the truth one step at the time, I think it is also very important to just stop for a moment and realize that His work is amazing. Maybe, we do spend too much time on figuring what God means when He gave us the account of creation that we often forget to stop and simply say "Wow! He created the heaven and the earth".

It's kind of ironic that we as Christians often boast about our God and how amazing He is, but very rarely show the world how amazed we are of Him through our lives. Instead, we come to others with our own defense mechanism and try really hard to convince others through our words. I guess, it is time for me to start saying, "WOW!" through my lives. After all, He is amazing God.

While typing this reflection, I am suddenly reminded of one of Chris Tomlin's song, titled "INDESCRIBABLE". I believe it reflects today's reflection perfectly. Here it is:

From the highest of heights to the depths of the sea
Creation's revealing Your majesty
From the colors of fall to the fragrance of spring
Every creature unique in the song that it sings
All exclaiming

Indescribable, uncontainable,
You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name.
You are amazing God
All powerful, untameable,
Awestruck we fall to our knees as we humbly proclaim
You are amazing God

Who has told every lightning bolt where it should go
Or seen heavenly storehouses laden with snow
Who imagined the sun and gives source to its light
Yet conceals it to bring us the coolness of night
None can fathom

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Reflection 3: Enabled by God

Today devotion is about how as Christians, when we walk in His way, are empowered to do great things. It sounds simple... incredibly simple... yet I have failed to display this in my life many many times. I think it's not really because I feel inadequate or uncertain about what I do, but it's more about being comfortable in doing nothing.

This reminds me of a writing by Nelson Mandela:
"Our worst fear is not that we are inadequate,
our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?'
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God;
your playing small doesn't serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.
It is not just in some of us, it is in everyone,
and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

Connecting this with my previous reflection: "Can or Can't I?", I believe that great works start with a complete understanding of "I alone can't" which is followed with a journey to figure out that "with God I can".

For me, Moses is the best example for this. Being a prince, he had an attitude of "I can". However, having his life on the line, he ran away and started to realize that he can't really do anything. After years of being a servant and learning about humility, God came to him and called him out. His answer? "Thanks, but no thanks. Simply put-I can't, Lord". God's response? "Oh yes, you can! because I, the Lord, say so". From that moment forward, God used him incredibly to deliver the greatest miracles in the history of Israelite.

One question I often wonder: did Moses still struggle everyday about what God would do? We know from the bible that Israelite did, but how about Moses? There is no record about it. No fear of failure? No second doubt or second guessing God's calling?

One thing for sure, while I've learned about the end of Moses' journey, my journey has just started.