COS is a good time to sit down and sort out some of the thoughts that have been on my mind. Relaxing environment, just chill and let it flow.
I actually have been thinking alot about friendships, relationships and the future for the past few weeks but because that section is so humongously long and still fuzzy, so I'll leave it for another day.
I went back to ACS on their national day celebration. It was nice to catch up with all the teachers (and how you can talk to them differently now heh, more like old friends than superiors). School environment is something you miss, it does have far lesser responsibility placed upon you and it is a generally more enjoyable place to be despite the colossal amount of homework sometimes. I look at the year fives dance during the national day songs and felt so old.
There was a point where I was walking around the reception area (not taking food, it's not fun to take food anymore). A whole bunch of the award winning year six primers were gathered around a table. I could recognise all of them and am pretty sure I could name all of them except one or two. I am sure they recognised me too, as the senior who was in the exco for their orientation and leadership camp, the senior who hung around the primers room and later the koi pond all the time.
Yet, we were like strangers. I know they looked at me and recognised me, but none really came to talk to me, and I didn't approach them either. What's there to say? Who am I to them? I know I never really built a deep relationship with them, being backstage and all. During the time we were still schooling, I never really engaged them deeply in conversation, never really got to know them well. It was on a superfical level, like acquaintances. It's not just the year sixes. It was also the year fours who were supposed to be my junior batch, who I also recognised and can name a good many of them but it only feels awkward to see them once again.
And this will remain always one of my greatest regrets when it comes to primers. That I never really got involved in it till late, and never really developed close relationships with the people within. Despite my love for the group as a whole, the extent in which I am involved in the lives of individuals within is disappointing. Primers will always have a special place in my heart, but I realise that it will always be primers and not any people in particular.
Even the current year sevens. I'm quite out of touch with their lives (being unable to attend weekly bible studies for months already). I think it is terribly sad if our lives were to once have crossed paths and changed us forever, but so soon we all quickly drift away. Or at least, I drift away.
The 40 day prayer fast booklet as well as DoHP both mentioned the ACS clocktower revival. As a student of the institution, I do know of this and at one point in time, I have wondered if it could be possible to see this happen once again, for we have slipped away from those days. In my mind, I can hardly imagine people filling up the clock tower during whatever free time they have to pray. For a little while, I dreamt, and hoped it would be possible.
Yet pessimism quickly overtook me and I couldn't hold on to it quite anymore. How is it possible to see such a transformation in this place? How could the students of this school possible be reignited together with such passion once more?
It was around the time I was thinking about the clocktower revival and the current state of the school that I discovered the ACS sixth story corner. A little spot where people quiten their hearts to simply be still before God and to intercede for the school. It's a stairwell which leads to a dead end. In that little corner, there was a lone Bible and words scrawled upon the floor:
On your walls, O Jerusalem,
I have set watchmen;
all the day and all the night
they shall never be silent.
You who put the Lord in remembrance,
take no rest,
and give him no rest
until he establishes Jerusalem
and makes it a praise in the earth
- Isaiah 62:6-7
This verse struck me hard, made me think about how much am I doing to contribute to what I want to see. Today, I still ponder this verse. Especially the second part of verse 6, 'take no rest, and give him no rest'. I've thought long and hard about 'no rest', the sheer commitment of it, and perhaps after a little while, the seeming impossibility of it.
A combination of these two verses being mentioned in DoHP and COS reminded me of this today once again. In the military, at a company level, we have people manning the office 24/7. At an institute level, we have prowlers, sentries, and whatever other guards there are 24/7. In a way, this is a form of 'no rest'. The company isn't ever 'inactive' at any point in time.
And we are soldiers aren't we? Soldiers of a spiritual battlefield. Are we going to say that the entire nation of Christians cannot do what a company of 127 people are able to?
I think if we put out heart to it, it is fully possible. Many of us though just don't have the discipline and commitment to do it, myself included. Despite knowing the sheer importance of spiritual warfare, we don't put in enough effort to fight it. Its the same with the military, people often don't actually want to do it, but the reason why the company can do it is because in a way we are forced to. The entire system would fail if we asked for volunteers for COS. But we can't force anyone when it comes to spiritual warfare. So what are we going to do about it?
I'm still thinking. I'll be honest and say I don't quite have an answer yet.
P.S. In my last two visits to the school, I have been encouraged to see the growth of the little corner. Perhaps things are changing, I don't know I'm not there anymore to observe if it is so, but maybe I'll keep hoping.
The bridge of the song 'Hosanna' by hillsong has always struck me. There contains so much in those short few lines that I find that more often than not we tend to just skim through it or only capture portions of it when we sing.
Heal my heart and make it clean.
This echoes of psalms 51 after david was confronted by nathan and his repentance that follows. We're talking about the recognition of sin in our lives and our need for God. It speaks of a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart. Casting aside our old selves and putting on the new. Its more than just a simple request for things to be better, its a desperate cry.
Open up my eyes to the things unseen.
I talked about the spiritual and physical realm recently so even though there is so much in here, I don't suppose I need to elaborate. Its a bold request.
Show me how to love like You have loved me.
Just how did Christ love us? That perfect love. We often read 1 Corinthians 13 without fully comprehending the full extent of what it is saying. This is the God whom while we were yet sinners, He died for us. The God who died for those whom He would have every right to punish. How are we to love as He loved?
Break my heart for what breaks Yours.
The things upon the heart of God. When we ask for our hearts to be broken, we are asking for our lives to be irrevocably changed. To partake in the sorrows of God for this world necessarily means that we will have to step out and take action.
Everything I am for Your kingdom's cause.
Words like everything tend to be tossed around like nobody's business. Our entire being, all of our existence, for His kingdom's purposes. That is what we pledge when we sing this.
As I walk from earth into eternity.
And in the concluding line, we speak of the reason behind it all: we are not of this world. We live for eternity. Only when we understand eternity (or perhaps I should say begin to understand eternity) will we ever be able to live a life for His kingdom.
Hosanna is more than a praise song declaring that salvation is here. It is a song for soldiers who are entering into the spiritual battlefield. It is a warcry.
Children are a heritage to the Lord. Christians are called to produce children as fruit of their marriages, to raise godly children who will carry on the mantle of being the light in the darkness.
Yet, this world frightens me. I've seen enough children who have gone astray despite having godly parents. In a way, I can't help but feel that raising children is like a game of blackjack. Skill definitely helps, but sometimes if you have dumb luck, then you have dumb luck. You can control the outcome of the game to a certain extent, but the rest of it are outside of your reach. In the same way, theres a limit to your ability to craft the perfect environment for your child, theres a limit to your ability to influence your child to know God personally.
I can't imagine what it would be like to bear children in a world where they may be so easily corrupted. It's almost like murder. You gave them life and in giving them life, you gave them up to a possibility of damnation.
Yet to see a child grow and become used by God powerfully, that would make all the troubles worth it, wouldn't it?