the wider life

an excerpt by J.R. Miller –

We should never be content with a narrow life. We are made for breadth and fullness, and we rob God when we fail to reach our best. 

Some people assert that Christianity’s ideal for life, is narrow. They say it cramps and limits us. It has no place, for example, for physical or intellectual development. It says nothing about art, music, science, or the many phases of human activity. It presents only the moral side—conscience, obedience to heavenly laws, spiritual attainments and achievements.

The answer is that while Christianity may not definitely name the things of the intellect, or distinctly call men to noble achievements in art, in exploration, in invention, in research, in the culture of the beautiful, it really includes in its range everything that will add to the fullness and completeness of life and character. It excludes nothing but what is sinful: disobedience to law, impurity, selfishness, uncharity, and these only narrow and debase, do not broaden and enrich life.”

three takes

Take one.

The irony:
when I never post details of my day
to day activities on instastory
due to a preference for privacy,
and yet share some of my inner thoughts
on my blog
(like how ironic this is) –
many will post pretty picture after
pretty picture about the latest
Lady M or Cake Spade they ate,
but shy away from sharing their
deep thoughts on life.

Sometimes I am afraid of
revealing too much,

but I do cherish this space
where I can show through real sharings how God is real
and so good to me.


Take two.

(Sparked from an excerpt sent from a friend.)

People usually desire to get married
because they say they are lonely.
But it’s not entirely true,
since no man’s an island
and everyone of us has a web of friends
(whether huge web or small web,
that’s another story altogether)
and a community.

What they’re really saying,
and it took me years to also realise
for myself,
is “I want to be fully known and fully loved.”

They have nice fuzzy daydreams
of long walks and long talks,
and sitting beside the fireplace
and living blissfully to a ripe old age –
and always forget the reality of
our inherent sinfulness
which renders close proximity
a sphere full of conflict.

The partner living with you
(as the case with all family,
but being one flesh is peculiar)
day in day out,
will not only know the best of you,
but also the worst of you.

We want someone to know us,
and love us for us,
but they inevitably will see the worst as well,
and being fallible themselves,
may not give love fully and freely
at all times.

When you’re single,
you might not be known so intimately,
as you would if you were married.
When you’re married,
you might be intimately known
but you might not be intimately loved.

How?

God fully knows and fully loves you –
look off man to God.


Take three.

Yet another time to take stock.
How much my life has changed.
I’m nowhere near perfection,
but I’ve taken some baby steps,
and I’m glad for that.

If the Lord indeed opens that door,
that privilege will be
the best birthday gift I can receive.

I gave thee life,
now serve ye Me.

the final interview

I walked past the same Choco Express and Toast Box,
heard the same cheesy “come take me higher” song that is always
being played,
went up the same lift to level 5 –

only that it was after noonday,
not before,

realised I will miss this same place

and though I’m leaving,
the experiences I’ve had here are worth remembering,

the multitude of interactions,
tiny and insignificant as they are
if viewed in isolation,
which have changed me in some way,

the cumulative sum of four long months,

the good and the bad.

I’ve a tendency to try to erase
the unpleasant memories,
but remember it vividly I shall,
if only to remind me of my
mortal finiteness,
who I was
and next time looking back,
how far I’ve grown.

on hardship and ease

Shatter the myth that easy is good,
and hard is bad

we all want a comfortable life,
bathing in ease and luxury.
at least, that is what we think we want.
if comfort and pleasure is the main (unspoken) aim
of life –
to enjoy nice things and to not have to worry about anything –
then we would be Epicureans.

and then when we finally have all these
material possessions that we want,
we wonder why we are not happy,
and feel a certain void within,
a certain meaninglessness.

Vanity of vanities, all is vanity

we were not made just to pursue
a comfortable existence,
but for God our Creator.

The persecuted Christians
who had nothing,
and really nothing,
no savings, no house, no future –
landed up and died in jail –
those that ‘wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins;
being destitute, afflicted, tormented;

know more about solid joys
and lasting pleasures
than men whose main aim
is to live as comfortably as
they possibly can on this earth.

if we try to insulate ourselves
from the vissicitudes of life –
“bubble-wrapping” –
however well-intentioned these efforts may be,
we will never develop true
strength, courage, grit.

it is the hardship and the pain
that forges our character:
why do we try our best to avoid
any form of pain and discomfort?

but if we have a purpose
that extends beyond just eating and drinking
before we die –
and we do –
comfort is not a priority.

Ease is not good,
and hard is not bad

get rid of sloth

Slothfulness

stupefies men, and makes them senseless, and mindless of their own affairs, as they were cast into a deep sleep, 

dreaming much, but doing nothing. 

Slothful people doze away their time, bury their talents, live a useless life, and are the unprofitable burdens of the earth.

-Matthew Henry