Sitting on the roof in 10 degrees weather, sipping my favourite milk tea, and staring out at the sky which is dotted with a gazillion stars. You’ll never get that in Singapore either. I’ll do it every single night.
“He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names.” (Psalm 147:4)
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved."
— William Shakespeare, Sonnet 116
It’s been a month since I arrived in Nepal. I’ve been wanting to pen down some thoughts but never got down to doing so. In an e-journal I’m supposed to submit to my school for my internship, I was asked to write down 2 meaningful observations I’ve made or experiences I’ve had since I started work. Here’s my answer:
I’ve learnt about the power of good, proper journalism. I’ve seen how journalism can potentially be used as a tool to keep the government in check, although that is not the case here. Still, Nepali Times acts as the voice of the Nepalis, and is brutally honest in its news reporting. Some time ago, Mr Kunda brought the interns to an exhibition on the Nepalese civil war, also known as the People’s War, which lasted from 1996 to 2006. He also showed us a few books that were published to document the consequences of the war on the lives of the Nepali people. It was then that I was quite inspired as I saw how photojournalism can be used as a means of documenting history and as part of the healing process for people scarred by the armed conflict.
Since I arrived in Nepal, I have also discovered that there is a way and pace of life very different from that of Singapore. I’ve found out that it is possible to achieve work-life balance. Life is not just about earning money to buy a bigger house or cooler gadgets. Life is about going to work in the day to earn enough money to get by, and spending time with family and friends every night. Life is not so much about rushing from one place to another, but taking time to meet new people and catch up with friends. On the other hand, I have discovered how privileged I am. In Nepal, the one thing I see no matter where I turn my head is poverty. Some people have not enough money to eat, attend school or buy clothes. Load-shedding lasts 14 hours a day, and people struggle to work around the hours during which they have electricity to complete all that they need to do. So, the most meaningful observation I’ve probably made so far is how blessed I am in so many ways.
“Whether it be good, or whether it be evil, we will obey the voice of the LORD our God” (Jeremiah 42:6)
The people of Judah declared that they would obey whatever God revealed to them. It’s a beautiful promise to make: to hearken to God whether what He has commanded SEEMS good, or bad. I can only pray that God will give me the grace to pray in the same manner.
But the sad part comes in the next chapter, when we read that the proud men of Judah, unlike what they had said, wilfully chose to disobey God’s will.
I am reminded that when I ask for God’s will, I must genuinely be willing to obey it when He reveals it to me. Over the past year alone, there have been so many times when I asked God for His will. Yet when He did so through His Word or through circumstances, i stubbornly ignored or disobeyed. What right do I have then to ask God again to show me His will and plan for my life? But God is ever so merciful and gracious. And I can only pray everyday that He will help me to obey Him and walk in His revealed way.