Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Day 14: Reflections

It's easy to think that you have it all figured out. Or at least, that's a problem that I often have. I think that I'm almost always right. I think that I'll be safe even if I don't wear my seat belt. I think that I have endless amounts of energy. 
But then, when it's all written out like so, it's obvious that these subconscious beliefs I hold to are inherently silly.

So that's what I've been learning as a staff member on this trip - to listen to what others have to say and put myself in another's shoes. But I'm getting ahead of myself so let's backtrack a little and let me explain how all this came about.

Around lunch time one day, a team member came to tell me about a bad headache she was having and asked to take some time off. Now, such health complaints from the team are pretty common and after hearing of so many, I had started to doubt their authenticity. So when this team member came on this day with the complaint, I listened but wasn't incredibly sympathetic. Still, she got the time off she requested and she later felt well enough to join in for team activities again. 

In the afternoon, I had many things to do and so I decided that I didn't need a break. However, I tried to insist that another staff member took a break and when he chose not to take one I mentioned to someone else that he really should have listened. Obviously, he needed a break but I didn't need one!

At 3pm, we were all supposed to meet for devotions but due to some unforeseen circumstances, I was a few minutes late. Usually, I'm the one who complains about the team not keeping to the schedule I set so this was new! I had no idea that Victor had decided to come up with punishments for the late and so unfortunately, I got a taste of my own medicine.

Later in the day, another team member came to say she had a fever and this time, I thought it was serious enough to insist that she return to the hotel to rest but she didn't want to. That left me a little irritated. 

Still, I was rather pleased with how the day had gone until after dinner that day. As I ran up and down the stairs to get ready for CI, I suddenly realized that I was unusually out of breath and felt quite light headed. I even carelessly dropped and broke a bottle of essential oils in the process, which made me rather upset. Little by little, it occurred to me that this symptom was a result of my pushing myself and not taking any breaks and also being so busy that I had ignored the signs of an upset stomach and continued eating things that aggravated it further. I suddenly understood how the sick people I was talking to earlier in the day must have felt. I also realized that instead of insisting that others take a break, I should have taken one myself.

As I thought back on the long day of hard knocks, I was tempted to dwell on my silliness and get discouraged. But then, I slowly realized that it was a lesson I needed! The Psalmist says in Psalm 119:71 "It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn Thy statutes". As we have been teaching the children this week, the bad things that might happen to us in life, or sufferings as you may call them, are for our good if only we see them from God's perspective. Aren't you glad that we serve a God who loves us enough to show us the truth?

Jolynn Tan
Staff Member
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