Saturday, March 10, 2007

Questioning the existence of man

{Yes, I am blatantly engaging in an act of plagiarism}

So I've been hiding away - isn't it a sad fact that the lack of a computer and internet access now condemns you to the life of a hermit? :-P Actually, that's not quite true, it was nice to escape from the tyranny of techonology and the virtual world for a while, and anyway, I could always get internet access at my library on Mon-Sat. Plus, more reading time!

My time back in Malaysia was good, on the whole, although not without its stressful side. Some of you know that the main reason I went back was not for Chinese New Year per se, but for my brother's home wedding reception, so you can imagine life being pretty hectic. And unfortunately, but this is the messy part of life, tensions arose too. I spent half of the week sleeping on the sofa - so you can imagine the number of people in my house. (Poor me...haha, although I play the martyr here, in truth, it was a nice sofa...). Best part was probably spending time with my eldest sister and her family, since I hardly ever see her at all (probably a combined total of 2 weeks at most over the last 3 years?), and of couse, I had to defend my status as the favourite uncle. (Btw, the picture above is not of my nephew, but of my cell group leader's son.) One thing I discovered, to my shame, is that I couldn't remember the exact details of many fairy-tales - so I was frantically making things up when my nieces kept asking me to tell them Goldilocks/Snow White/Cinderella!

I also got to see people I haven't seen for a long time; in one case, a friend I haven't seen in over 5 years, in another, one I haven't seen in 3. It was a real pity I couldn't go and make contact with a few others as well.

Since I got back, it seems as if piles of work have been waiting for me, and also I have had to make some choices over a couple of things, so am feeling pretty exhausted. What I don't understand is that sleep has not been making a difference this week - I'm getting my minimum 7 hours yet still wake up feeling fatigued everyday.

Am feeling like I'm just going through the motions spiritually too at the moment.

This past week at bible study, we were doing a review of Mark 8:31 to the end of chapter 10 (the section of Scripture we've been looking at this term), and we discovered that Mark had actually envisioned a chiasmic structure to it. The "climax" of the structure, if you want to call it that, was 10:13-16, where Jesus tells us that to belong to the kingdom of God, one has to come in childlike dependence. This was set against the backdrop of failure to get in on our own - as seen in the accounts framing Jesus' words, such as blind Bartimaeus, the dissenting disciples, or the rich young man. I was reminded of this afresh today on my travels on the Tube, seeing a child automatically stretch her arms to her father in wanting a lift, and another father balancing his two kids on his lap. One of my group members seem especially struck by the review study, and I had to confess feeling a little chastened that I didn't seem to internalise it in the same way as her. So, something to chew upon more.

OK, hopefully this miscellany will suffice for now, and God-willing, with enough energy I will be able to provide more sustained thought on just one topic in the future instead of the tangled web above.


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