Archive for April, 2008

Graduating students

Many students from our church are graduating this year. Since I have been the Sunday school teacher for quite a few of them so I was asked to say a few words at a presentation. Well I only got to use the first and last paragraph but here is the entire planned script.

 

First, I just want to acknowledge the blessings that all of you have brought to us at TCBC. It has been and continues to be a pleasure to have you with us and I must say that is partly why we are here and you are teaching us to understand that. It really does not seem that long ago when I met some of you after worship and we exchange greetings and you said,” I am new”. Now you are not new but old or older and so am I.

 

Speaking of old, about 20 years ago, I was at a similar occasion. That was in Kingston, I was in graduated school and I was with a group of new high school students who came for their last year of high school and hoping to enter university after that. Needless to say, new to a country and having immediate pressure to earn good standing to enter university was not an easy time. So a group of us tried to help them grow/survive both as a person and as Christian. Looking back I just don’t know how on earth we dare to do that. We were just kids; we need help as badly as they did. Anyway, when end of year came and people were set to depart. Six students out of their own got together and offer a song, during service as a parting gift for us. I can still remember that occasion vividly. The song was “The Purple Robe” and I had tears in my eyes after spending a lot of time with them; recalling all the ups and downs, blood, sweat and tears. I remember asking myself while listening, “what will they be like in 20 years?” I wished them all ended up to be great men and women of God, doing great things.

 

Now, 20 years later, I still kept in touch with 5 of the 6. One is in HK, one in Calgary/Edmonton, Two in TO and one in Sydney, Australia. All married and some have children, No one become head of state, CEO, school principle, no leaders in their field that they have chosen,  or anything like that. Some not even leaders in their own home. One told me he just finished reading “Why men don’t go to church anymore?” and empathizes with all the symptoms. Not bad people, not tragic but not quite great men and women of God, doing great things. May be another 20 years?

 

Not to be bringer of bad news, you will probably be like them in 20 years. Dreams don’t often become reality. Reality is not always kind but always there in your face.

 

I wonder what happened. I do not know what happened to them but I know what happened to me. It was simple, I don’t know what took me so long to understand this but again that is reality. I had habits since university and that stayed with me. I have been and still am an escapist, not escape artist, just a guy who likes to run away from real problems. I can run away because I had some smarts, smart enough to get by. I had a great fear of facing the nitty-gritty things in life and so I escaped to lofty sounding slogans like living for God and doing great things for God and did not realize great things for God starts from the smallest and apparently insignificant decision. I am learning now, but it is a lot harder now than 20 years ago.

 

So, let me leave you with this. Don’t learn from me. Don’t escape from reality but meet it face to face. The problem you are running away from whether it is relationship with your parents, fear of opening yourself up or just plain school work are not going away. They will come back in different form. So don’t let escaping becomes a habit. Habits whether good or bad will follow you for a long time so learn to form good habits. Be real. Your future starts here and now. Start making the tough decisions now. Maybe be after this service you need to talk to some one you don’t usually do. Go home and start reading. If you don’t have a book to read, talk to me, I’ll lent you one and read it with you. Again, be real, don’t fabricate you faith, and don’t fabricate your life. And remember your future, your real future starts from your next decisions.

 

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