Wednesday, June 15, 2005

ARPC Church Camp 2005

Loved church camp. Like Chris Chia noted, it was almost a small slice of heaven: God's people gathered under God's word and praising God. How sweet like honey those days were. Miss them already.

It seems almost a lifetime ago that we could happily and freely talk about God with all and sundry from well-travelled oldies like Phillip Jensen to wet-behind-the-ear newbies who had just come to know Christ, praising him with our tongues and telling each other of God's faithfulness in all our own lives, the steadfast sureness of his hand upon us who trust in him in good times and bad times, marvelling at how he brought each person bit by bit, through links in the chain throughout our pagan lives, into true and living knowledge of him, and singing of the wonder of learning more and more about him and so finding greater and greater satisfaction and pleasure in our lives.

And now that we have come to know him, and acknowledge him as our Lord and Master and Saviour, how can we then live as if we did not know him and his ways? How can we live as fools, as complete idiots, as if we do not know that God made the entire universe and that he tells us in the Bible how to work it and get the best out of the world, of our lives and of our relationships with others?

To live wisely is to live in fear of the LORD in awe and reverence for him as our Maker and Saviour and in obedience to his word as the lamp that lights our feet in this dark chaotic world. To live in fear of the LORD is to live successfully. And to live successfully is to find great satisfaction and pleasure in life, living it to the full, sucking the marrow out of it.

In view of such a great and promising future, my conversation with a married lady on the drive back to Singapore was very very sad. She said that the talks on Proverbs at camp had inspired her focus on God not her career. But she took offence to the practical aspects of living according to God's words recorded in the Bible. She didn't think that was the best way to live and find satisfaction in her life.

It soon transpired that her God wasn't quite the One True God of the Bible. She was "Christian" because her husband was. He had pursued and married her while she was of the view that all religions were equally legitimate and that she basically needed just any one to fulfil the "spiritual" category of her life. Her opinion of Christianity had not changed since and while Christians were entitled to their own worldview, she wasn't too bothered about it and picked what she liked to hear from the self-improvement theories and religious buffets of the world. Her husband listened silently as she said this.

The waste.

She was obviously thirsty. In fact, it was as if she was dying of thirst in a desert, and in front of her was the purest, clearest water that she could drink deeply from and that would satisfy every part of her. Yet, she snubbed it and ignored it and so continues to choke and gag and poison herself with stagnant lava infested water clogged with rubbish, smelly industrial waste and pesticide run-offs.

That was the second time I teared today.

The first was when Joshua himself sobbed when, voice cracking, he told of his 5-year old's prayer for him before Joshua made the trip to Malaysia: "God, please help Daddy tell people about Jesus". The preciousness of the gospel. The wonder of the good news of our salvation. It is so valuable a thing that anyone with the tiniest bit of sense would sell all he had just to get it.

Yet it is free of charge to anyone who asks for it.

Even more mindblowing than that, God gives us a book of directions that guide us in negotiating the minefield of life. And on top of that, God gives us the Spirit who is always with us, helping us through the minefield.

Amazing.

How not to live wisely, successfully and pleasurably? Yet, some times, we in our stupid sinfulness insist that we don't want to.

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