Affections

11 August 2011
Activity – showing tenderness to an object
I was glad it wasn’t soft or gooey, like those disgusting substances in closed boxes people shove their hands in to show how brave they are. Showing tenderness involves a lot of touching. Also involves moving. You cannot be tender in a fixed position. Sometimes it is also making modification(s) to the object to make it feel/look prettier.

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3 Things To Do When You’re 24

It’s a curious position to be in, really. If there was a mid-20s life crisis, this would be it. At 24, one isn’t working yet – though my female friends of the same age are. At 24, one is still in school – but there is that yearning for a life beyond.

It’s funny that we sometimes talk about weddings, buying HDB flats, and having families (yes, that’s the order it should be in), while othertimes we talk about how we’re dying from our exams and assignments. There is a fundamental dichotomy, an inherent tension within me. A bird that wants to fly out of it’s cage, but wants to stay within the safety of its confines at the same time. It’s sometimes scary to be on the cusp of full adulthood – as Jesus Himself said, no one who puts his hand on the plow and looks back is worthy of the Kingdom of God.

What then, is God calling me to in this time of my life? What is he calling young men to? First and foremost (and being in line with Brenna’s post), He is calling me to discern. Of course, the most important question in this life would be what is my life’s vocation: Is He calling me to serve Him as a lawyer, to be an advocate for those with no voice? Is He calling me to marriage to emulate the love of His son for the Church? Or is He calling me to the Priesthood for the same? Or is He calling me to something that I haven’t even contemplated myself? Nonetheless, discernment is not just abou the big questions, but the small ones as well. Should I take this activity up? Is it worth my time? Is this what God wants me to do here and now? If we all could listen a little closer, our priorities would be perfect.

Next, He is calling me to dream. Ah, the stuff that men are made of, contrary to popular belief. [1] Dream not of making big bucks in the near future, of posh luxury cars (more of a fantasy than a dream – those COEs. Bleah.) and of being a self-made man (a reference to “The Great Gatsby” – thanks Jason (:). Instead, dream of being a God-made man. Dream His dreams of changing the world. Dream of bringing others to the fount of living water you have found. It could be something small, such as treating everyone you meet (big or small) with love and respect. It also could be something big, like setting up a Catholic law firm with your buddies to bring Christ into the workplace. Whatever it is, let Him dream, through you. Don’t lose that idealism. Don’t lose hope. Don’t lose the last vestiges of your child-likeness. It’s normally the first thing to go.

Lastly, He is calling me to be prepared. It’s a big scary world out there. You’ve seen it on FacebookYouTube, ThoughtCatalog , and sometimes, even TheOatmeal (ZOMG MANTIS SHRIMP). And there’s no better time to prepare for this crazy life than now. If I can’t handle my commitments now, would I be able to do so when I start working? If I can’t learn to love the people around me now, would I be able to do so when I am pulled in more directions? If I can’t maintain a disciplined prayer life now, how can I expect to do so later? Tis’ a fact of life. Just as gold is purified by fire, this stage of life prepares us to shine for Him. So let’s get our act together now. There isn’t time to wait until tomorrow!

So there, that’s the three things to do when you’re 24. TAKE THAT THOUGHT CATALOG!!!

[1] Acts 2:17: “In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and you daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.”

Timothy Soo

Timothy doesn’t see what’s the fuss about all those Though Catalog articles, I mean, they are just a bunch of lists right? But in the spirit of finding out just how hard they are to write, he decided to try his hand at one. He hopes that his didn’t just give you thoughts though, but Thoughts on How God Is Calling You In Your Life Right Now (: 

Oceans are not that deep after all.

Image

Vocation is like driving a car, many of us always tell God “please steer us in the right direction!” then complain that we do not see God’s hand at work or God does not seem to be listening to our prayers. But that is because we are not driving the car and making it move. Steering is not apparent until the car is actually moving. He said that a better way of doing it would be to actually get the car moving first and tell God: “God I’m going to go down this path! Please show me if I am going the wrong way.” We need to have the car moving first (i.e. make our own decision first and actually take action) before we will be able to notice Gods prompting. Often people just wait and wait for some sort of divine revelation.

Intriguing? Is it not?

I received this inspirational text from my friend just recently and it spoke acutely to me.

As I browsed through my journal and blog posts, they were highly evocative entries of the plateau I was trapped in.

A man-made plateau that seemed endless…

One year has passed,

One year of friendship which progressed into courtship.

One year of sheer happiness, sadness, smiles and tears.

Their sacred bond was the culmination of the events and emotions over the past year.

But this uncertainty had to end.

The grey phase was way passed its matured stage.

Both Jack and Jill knew that. They knew.

Jill was obdurate. She awaited or foreshadowed an unraveling of signs or divine revelation that would give her an answer.

She just would not budge; she had it ‘in the bag’.

But as she prayed and dwelled deeper into her heart, she got lost in her ocean of emotions.

“It’s a maze down here!” she exclaimed.

Some days she felt she found her way out,

Some days she sulked and gave up.

Slowly but surely, she grew to understand herself better.

Jill was afraid.

She was afraid of relationships. Of commitment.

She was comfortable.

She grew to be selfish.

The light seemed far away.

I couldn’t swim to the surface.

I needed more time. (Forever and always)

What should I do daddy?

Show me your will?

It was time that I realized that he isn’t going to shout the answer right back at me.

He isn’t going to say, “YES!!!!” or “NO!!!!”

I was perturbed.

Time was running out.

As I continued to pick up my journal diligently and looked towards the cross, God’s faithfulness shone.

One question popped up evidently.

“ Which state will grant you the greatest avenue for growth?”

Followed by, little God moments started to speak to me.

….

“Intense love does not measure it just gives. ”

Mother Teresa

From Facebook (AN APP HAHA):

“Today we believe God wants us to know that …

you can conquer your fears.

When fear is holding you back, don’t give up. Even the bravest people feel afraid. Courage is not the absence of fear, but the will to go on in spite of it.”

The parable of David and the Goliath sprung up in my mind.

I felt like David who was ready to battle Goliath.

Goliath being my fears and past rather than the relationship. (Duh)

But the fuzzy feeling I had was beautiful.

It was the knowing that Jesus is holding my hand.

It’s the childlike faith that he isn’t going to let go, never.

God as I start my car, please steer me in the your direction.

A leap of faith with you, that’s all I need.

Jill leaped; she hasn’t fallen but as this quote goes

‘ A commitment does not enslaves, it liberates.’

Jill is liberated and feeling at peace.

Brenna

Brenna is usually thought to be a relatively loud and weird individual. However, Brenna enjoys the quiet and treasures her personal space and ‘me’ time greatly. Brenna’s fairytale story centers around a simple dream since her younger days. She dreams of great family with a loving husband/father, God-sent children and aspires to be a great wife and mother.

Indescribable Inspiration

Wow

“You draw nice” says the stewardess in green on my flight to LA.

I give my most grateful looking smile and reply that I’m a designer.

Drawing and designing things has always been a passion. It’s not just a talent, it’s an entire way of looking at things in the world. It’s how I see beauty, and how I see God. There is this intense love for how things are put together, the way it is crafted by a creator.

But the thing about any creation is that it is never just a creation, it is a representation of the person who created it. That’s the reason why I like nature, it’s the closest source I have to understand god.

5.7

Drawing always has this special place in my heart, like a first love. She opened the doors to emotion, expression, idea generation and most of all, God’s love.

“Where do you get inspiration from?”

There is this ideal image I have of myself. Given a brief, I would ponder on it a while, walk out and gain inspiration, look at the shapes of leaves or the way the lamp post bends because I would like to think that I notice the things people don’t and that would be my USP. Once I’ve been inspired by my surroundings, I would creatively come up with some cool idea, and there you go.

But for the past 2 years or trying to do that in school, church or work, I realize that that never happens.

At school I talk to my friends and get by on their ideas and contributing by trying to execute it in a pretty fashion.

At church I think and I think and pray something comes to me. Ideas feel mediocre or nothing comes and I resort to doing the norm.

At work I get stuck and copy from the Internet. Lacking any original idea.

But for all the very tiny bits in between, when I designed something based on instinct or just went with the first idea because I didn’t have to plan, I kind of get that feeling that it was God. But there is this knowingness that God is in my work, in designing, just because I know it in my gut, designer gut or not.

As much as God sometimes feel like a concept to me and not exactly a person I can have a relationship with, that feeling of being blown away by beauty is just more than I can comprehend, more than I can explain and more than I can imagine, simply put, it is God.

Changing Status
It was only this year my status changed. I could no longer write ‘student’ as my occupation in the immigration card and realized how much my decisions are impacting my life. I couldn’t just remain generic, I could choose my position, my path, my wealth, I could choose God.

Jes

Always described with the 2 words ‘sports’ and ‘art’, it has recently evolved into the 2 words ‘catholic’ and ‘friend’, aptly describing her changing priorities in life. In the spirit of randomness: Jes hates it when people can’t spell her full name properly and likes rolling around on grass, sand and occasionally concrete sidewalk to look at stars.

Next up: Days of our Lives

300 has ended. DOOL begins.

In the next series of posts, we write and share about where we are in our lives right now, and however and wherever God is in this very moment.

As a bonus, we include a 1-paragraph writer’s description of ourselves with every post we write.

Stay tuned =)