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Archive for November, 2011|Monthly archive page

25 years or 1/4 century

In Uncategorized on November 12, 2011 at 10:49 am

2011 marks the 25th year since I graduated with a Bachelor of Theology from Trinity Theological College, Singapore.  Then located at 7 Mount Sophia, TTC was where my world began to open up some more after having spent about a year at Tung Ling Bible School http://www.tungling.org.sg/

But this post is not about TTC or TLBS.

This post is a self-centered spiel of a stream of consciousness.

If I had worked every year of those 25 years since 1986 in one place, I would be able to retire this year, get my benefits and then consider a second career as some of my American friends have done.  But I have a patchy employment history albeit church ministry related.

Many of my Singaporean friends/school mates have indeed worked at one job for the last 25-30 years and we’re only 50 this year!  Many of them are still going strong and are reaping what they have sowed in over 25 years of gainful employment.  I, on the other hand, have nothing to show for the past 25 years.

This is not about self-pity.  This is my reality.

I think one thing that has marked my 25 years has been the lack of faith to jump into the deep end.  A fear of taking a risk, a fear of failure.  And then a soreness when someone else did it and profited from it.  Sore loser, wet blanket…yeah…regret.

The things I like to do outside of work are also things which for some have gained them an fruitful career and/or income.  Crafting, art-related activities, drama/acting…Jill of all trades Mistress of none!

I can’t see through my present state of unemployment.  Some of you know it’s that I can’t work not that I don’t want to work.  Yet, I fear my identity is TOO linked to being able to work, to be gainfully employed, to be at a place where I am acknowledged for making a contribution.  I cannot see my worth (and this is no criticism of my best loved friends who do, the problem is “me” not “you”) in being a stay-at-home mum.  I am not able to convince myself or believe what others have said to me about being a SAHM.  I am not like other mothers (again a comparison) who multi-task, blog, create, earn money, home-school their kids, keep house, cook and wow everyone with their culinary creations.

I am lazy.  I don’t want to do all that.

Has it been 25  years of resistance of really doing well and shining bright?  Has it been 25 years of fear of failure or of shame? Has it been now 25 years to regret? (actually more if you add the years before 1986) Has it been 25 years of nothing I can be proud of? Has it been 25 years of caution so that I would NOT fail or fall and so I have kept myself from making a greater impact?

My excuse for the next 25 years? My health? My attitudes? My mindset?

Am I allowing what others have done to me to overcome me and become my identity?  Am I giving them too much power over my life?

What I want (in my mind’s eye I see it) and what my actual future may be may not be in sync.  Can I accept what I cannot see or control?  Dare I jump off the cliff’s edge and trust that either God will catch me or God will give me wings to fly?

I cannot play the Blame Game but I do.  It’s easier than taking control for my own “suffering” and struggles.

Why do I hold on in the hopes that the God of Great Miracles will bless mediocrity?

Foolish hope? Ignorant stupidity? Sad regret?

Oh to be like Mary the Mother of Jesus who said when told she’d been chosen to carry the Messiah, “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Luke 1:38 (NIV)

Mary was remembered for her submission to God’s will, the sacrifice of her good name, the giving over and giving up of control and for her faithfulness to the end of Jesus’ ministry here on earth as she stayed at the cross on Calvary.

Have I been faithful to the end of God’s ministry that God allowed me to participate in?  Or has it all been about what people would say about me or remember the impact I had made? Or have I been more concerned about remuneration and temporal rewards?

I judge myself.  I convict myself in my own court of law…Do I deserve grace?  No, I do not.  I would not extend grace to myself but God somehow does.  How can it be that my Savior would die for me? (paraphrase of Charles Wesley’s great hymn, And Can It Be That I Should Gain)

I am an example of what not to be or do.  To do nothing and then stand and look back and regret it all.  After 25 years I have earned the right to say that.  Learn from my regrets.