Thursday, April 30, 2009
Monday, April 27, 2009
It was, as always, an impulsive decision. You were giving us holiday homework, and I felt irked looking at how much there was. So I stood up and told you that I decided to drop out of the class. You were taken aback, and tried to dissuade me, but it was in vain. So, I picked up my bag and stalked out of the class, leaving behind my classmates and you open mouthed. Sigh, what a moment it was, and how much I regretted the moment!
When it comes to mathematics, practice makes perfect. That’s why you gave us all those nasty drills. Since I never bent my will to the discipline, my mathematical faculties steadily atrophied after fateful day. That day in my 3mX3m, it took me a long time to figure out how many zeroes there are in 0.2million. You see, even with a calculator, one needs to know how many zeroes there are in one million in the first place.
Another day, at the money changer’s, I suspiciously asked the man why he gave me a rate that was different from the published one, and he said with a sigh, “Mdm, that’s because I am giving you a better rate!”
And now that I am dealing with numbers bigger than what I am used to, my little mind can hardly comprehend what is happening. But at least now, I understand what compound interest is. Soon, I’ll try to tackle exponential…something…progression? Or is it arithmetic progression? How do installments work, if there is interest to be factored in?
So I have to admit, I wish that I had been a better student in the Math class. Those horrible and abstract concepts are actually needed in real life! Sir, you are utterly justified for trying to make us work harder in Math.
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
it was our sorrows that weighed him down...
He was pierced for our transgressions,
crushed for our sins
He was beaten so we might be whole
He was whipped so we might be healed.
I think the chief idea here is redemption.
Of course, the Cross means that our sins are forgiven. We get away with being such awful sinners, and hence we should be properly relieved.
But I think that there is more to redemption than this. I had been puzzled for a long time by these verses. What has sin got to do with sorrows? If the Cross is intended to help us deal with our sins, why does Christ have to bear the sorrows too?
I think redemption means that we receive healing from all the scars caused by our own sins. It is as if we never committed the sins in the first place.
When there is sin, it isn't merely an offence against God, because some law is broken. Every sin wrecks its own damage upon our souls, at the very least, guilt and shame, self-rejection because of what we did. And then there could be anger at those whom we think caused us to sin. Dare I propose that sin hurts us more than it hurts others, and far more than we realise? Even if a sin committed goes unrecorded, we still suffer from the pain of having sinned.
And the Cross enables us to receive healing from others' sins. We live in a fallen world, and a lot of suffering comes from the actions done by other people - harsh words, condemnation and even physical hurt. Sometimes I think that we grieve the most deeply when we are hurt by those we love most. And this pain lingers to torment us long after the real act is over.
Yet Christ enables us to receive healing from all these hurts, to be able to look back at what happened without rancour, for the sake of His love, if nothing else. Hence, the Cross erases more than the penalty of sins. It truly removes ALL the consequences of sins, to enable us to live in a state that is a little more like Eden.Then, why aren't Christians a happier lot of people? Why do I fret and rage at worldly matters, as if I do not know these truths? My friends, this is because of the lies our minds have come to believe in. After years of conditioned behaviour, it seems impossible to react differently in adverse conditions. We consider these reactions natural. When there is disapointment or heartbreak, we despair. But Christ says, 'Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven'. He is telling us that there is a different way to live, and out of the brokenness there is a greater blessing we cannot fathom.
Let me try to remember that, anytime I feel despair, or fear, or anger, I have believed in the old lies again, that I have to despair, to fear, to be angry. But really, I don't. Because if anyone is in Christ, the old is gone and the new has come.
So, this Good Friday is a good time to contemplate what we have been redeemed from.
I spent the past few days trying to think of an entry that would fully explain how our lives should be changed because of the Cross, and the more I think, the less I seem to understand.
Of course, the most immediate result of the Cross is that we, sinners of all ages, are now spared from eternal death, because while the 'wages of sin' is death, it is a price now fully paid for by Christ. Yet, I really suspect that there is something more to redemption than mere acquital from our sins. Otherwise, wouldn't it mean that after accepting Christ, we are just waiting for death that would bring us into the Promised Land. Then, what are we to do in the meantime? Live a stereotypical Christian life? We go to church and try to behave in a reasonably respectable manner, and every time we sin, we confess, and get ourselves acquited, until the next sin.
I really think, that there is more to the Cross than that. I am looking for a richer and more passionate kind of life than this. I want more than respectability. The Bible says that when we receive Christ, we are a 'new Creation', and the old self is dead. What then, does this mean? Are these verses mere poetry that we memorise, to regurgitate at the Pearly Gates when the time comes?
I can feel the answer whirling vaguely around my head, but I can't find the words to pin them down. When I get my act together, there would be another entry on this matter. I am not done yet.