Growing up in asian family, my brothers and I were constantly hearing stories about what life was like for our parents before we were born. Now you may think, “This sounds like the beginning of How I Met Your Mother”.
These stories were mostly about the hardships they went through, fresh off the boat and first setting foot in a little country called New Zealand. There were stories about where they lived at that time, how they lived in a small garage sitting on milk crates and eating food that they would buy at those asian markets with what little money they had. These were always ways for my parents to “unintentionally” guilt trip us, reminding us of how lucky were are to live in conditions that are infinitely better than the ones they had to deal with.
I sound like such an ungrateful brat but the reason I bring this up is that recently I’ve been thinking through how my decisions my whole life have been affected by what my parents have said. Stepping out of high school and into university I had wanted to take nursing, the idea of being able to help people and there being a real need for male nurses played a huge part in why I wanted to be one. When my dad had heard about this, he tried every way to make me change my mind. He said things like “Do you really want to spend your whole life helping people clean themselves?” or “You might contract some sort of disease while in hospital and drop dead a couple days later”. Now these were all legitimate reasons to weigh up but I think the biggest thing that bothered my dad was the fact that I would be somewhat emasculated.
I don’t think there is any problem with listening to your parents, actually I highly recommend that. But on some things you definitely have to draw the line on and put your foot down. My faith in Jesus is a perfect example of something I would have to stand firm in. It’s something so important to me and is something I shouldn’t change due to someone else not agreeing with my belief.
This brings me to the point of how I make my decisions in life. My life decisions leading up to three years ago were mainly influenced by the worldly desire of wanting to get a well-paying job in order to live a comfortable life and raise a family. There’s nothing wrong with this, money and family alone are all good things but when that is all you live for… well that’s where we do have a problem.
Ever since I began following Christ, I have been very careful when making decisions, asking myself why A over B, is it because I want status, money or even acceptance? The question everyone dreads. What do you live for?
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the archangel’s voice, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.”
1 Thessalonians 4:16
Just reflecting on this verse, it really changes the way I live. The joy of knowing Christ is already pretty wonderful, imagining what it would be like when he returns is utterly indescribable. Reading this verse about the trumpets sounding, the archangel’s voice and the Lord descending from heaven with a shout, it feels like a blockbuster movie. We should be living with the Lord’s return in mind, comparing eternal life to the 70 maybe 80 years we have on this Earth. The joy of being with Christ at all times, that’s something we should be looking forward to.
Having Jesus’ return in mind and readily awaiting the day of the Lord puts everything in a new perspective. The world around us screams “Carpe diem” or “seize the day” and to make our mark on the world before we die. The God we know calls us to enjoy life but also to be investing in eternity and being ready for his return because:
“For you yourselves know very well that the Day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night.”
1 Thessalonians 5:2
If God was to return tomorrow, would I be happy with what I am doing today and how I am spending my time? Will I be able to stand firm in my faith and blameless in God’s eyes ?
So when making decisions on my future and how to spend my time, I guess no matter what I’m doing I want to be able to continuing growing in my love and knowledge of Jesus and seeing others come to know Him either through me or supporting full-time missionaries.
As usual, I’ll end this post off with a song. I recently was recommended Anthem Lights by my friend T. She definitely knows my taste in music.