Jul 16, 2012

Copa IBA 2012: A Perspective

I believe Copa iba was a tiring day for most of us. One of the most obvious reason is because some of us didn’t sleep and some had very little sleep the night before. We met and made a lot of new friends. We had plenty of nerve-wracking matches, some of it had some “dramas” where people fell and was injured. Through it all, it was definitely more than just physical fatigue - it was definitely emotionally draining as well.

The practices that went behind all of the games in Copa Iba came to an end when TTDI reached to the quarter final stage.

Instead of the emphasis where the speaker talked about how we should race like an athlete in the faith earlier that morning, I would like to highlight on something else instead.  I think it’s fair for me to say that we felt a lot of upset and rather depressed emotions felt that day. Well, especially after going through some real bad “trashing” in some of the matches, I know this sounds cliché but the saying that goes “That’s life!” fits here because it simply is!

1 Corinthians 9:24 “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.”
I don’t honestly believe that anyone could go through so much (or at least substantially enough) of effort can just face a defeat without feeling anything bad about it. Let’s admit it, we’re all human and I think it is good to actually go through the disappointment and certain extent of sadness. But what comes after matters even more, do we want to try again and be better this time or just give it all up and let defeat get the best out of us?

Copa iba is just a onetime off event annually; life is a whole stretch of decades for the most of us. Obviously Copa iba is not going to be only thing you’re going to place a lot of effort and expectations. So how are we to ensure that we can handle disappointments and grief the right way in other circumstances in life? Or at least in the healthiest manner?

On one hand, you don’t want to grief to a point where you never rise up again. On another hand, you don’t want to numb your feelings just to cope with it either. That will carry through your entire life and will definitely scar a lot of relationships (because that’s how you taught yourself to cope with these negative feelings). I have come to know a lot of youth (including myself) do a lot of things just to deal with all these negative feelings.  We can come to think that it works (at least in a short term) and that will be the way we handle it that way for the rest of our life. The truth is this; those “solutions” will always have limitations and most often a very back lashing effect.

Ultimately, it’s always back to our Saviour and ever present comforter and teacher - Jesus Christ.

Releasing your emotions and choosing to believe that He is capable of bearing all of it for you is not an easy process. It takes a lot of trusting, a lot of time and most of all – faith. But there’s no other way. I maybe young but up until before I was a Christian, I found no better way to deal with my negative emotions until I found Jesus in my life. Things have never been the same again.  Previously, I will either find an avenue to release it which costs a lot of money and most of all the people who care for you.

Years before this, Daryl and I started up our own company known as ESPGL.com.  Some of our church friends today know about it but trust me; we really placed our all into the project. We had countless sleepless nights, on some days, sleeping a few hours is what we needed to do just to get things done.
I can’t forget when is the last time I actually stopped sighing during then because the stress never ends, I just can’t stop sighing. We had a lot of people having expectations and demands on us all the time and we can never stop meeting all of it. Yet, we can’t choose to ignore it because they are our “customers” and we need them in order to get our company to be successful.

Eventually, God said otherwise about our success of the company and the whole went into a flop after one year of pure hard working of planning, travelling, buying and executing.

At that point of my life, I never knew Jesus and I really took out my frustration and disappointment in ways that were really selfish and damaging to the people around me. My parents suffered the most and I was just so tired of trying again. I can’t imagine going through all that painstaking effort and planning just to face another acute disappointment.

A year after that, I committed my life to Christ. I started having the faith to try again but this time no longer in myself but in Jesus. Whether I succeed or fail, I ask God to give me the strength to trust Him enough to go through that phase and still praise Him.

Matthew 11:29 “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Obviously I will not have a total emotional tranquility or neither will I always be happy all the time. The difference is;  I know my life is always well secured even if I have not lived to last day of my life yet. I don’t rely on myself to think of that, I rely on His promises.

So whoever of you reading this who have put your part in Copa Iba, let not the disappointment stop you from trying for next year or even anything else in life. Remember that all in all, we have committed our emotions and dreams to our only Lord and Saviour. J

- Gary Heng

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Jul 9, 2012

Part 4: Philippians 3:12-14 (Press On)

"Not again", you might ponder in your heart. Yit Mun has been getting more and more naggy and long-winded?? Sharing on the same verses again and again…

What has happened is this:

Due to God’s grace, I managed to bring my dad to Chinese Ministry’s Parent Day Dinner, hoping that my dad can hear the gospel once again. After the preaching, I did some following-up with my dad on his opinion and so on. His feedback actually pierced my heart and at another incident, my sister also pointed out her views on me. No doubt these have caused a great impact on me as I was thinking that I've improved as a Christian but my family thinks otherwise. After the Bible study group prayed for me, again the above-mentioned verses on “press on” popped-out in my mind.
12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.
Seriously I know I am nowhere near perfection but I press on, that I may grapple the purpose that Christ Jesus has for me. I must say I’m still “work-in-progress”! I am asking God to give me the extra portion of strength, grace and better time management to handle the things before me!
13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,
Brothers and sisters, though God has unfolded many things through my meditation and time alone with Him, I still need more time to figure out the full plan from Him to place me in such a situation.

But something for sure here is that, God urges me to lay aside my baggage and slowly forget my past that has daunted me every now and then. Here, God asked me to throw away everything that hinders my growth (Heb 12:1a) and stretch forth my hand to what He has in store for me.
14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Again, He prompted me to march on until I reach my target for the eternal reward of His specific calling in my life. May this piece of sharing encourages you in your walk with our good God! XD

In Him, Yit Mun (aka IP Man)

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