Attitude problem: is it them, or me?

Sometimes we start blaming others for our problems, without really looking at our attitude. Maybe, the problem is not caused by them.

I know I do have some attitude problems. One, and the only one that I will talk about here, is that I HATE calling service center. I. Just. Simply. Hate. Calling. Them.

Just. Hate. It.

Earlier this semester I realised that my 3 (3 is a mobile network service in Australia) 24-month-contract would soon come to an end. I would finally be free from the dodgy 3 network service once and for all. Then I made what I thought of as a 5-minute-trip to the nearby 3 store. Oh boy, how wrong I was.

As 3 has merged its company with Vodafone, I have decided to just “migrate” to Vodafone: they are technically the same company now, but I heard that the network service by Vodafone is way much better. (muttering under my breath: how odd is it…)

So I went to the store, only to find out that I need all my passport details to do the migration. All was done after 20 minutes of queuing.

The next day, I went to the store the second time with my passport, asked for the migration to be done, and after waiting for 15 minutes for the queue and explaining everything, the store assistant finally managed my migration. After 10 minutes of trying to make everything ready, he suddenly asked his co-worker, “If you have an existing plan, and I go through with the migration now, would it mean starting a new 24-month-contract?”

I thought to myself, damn.

Yes, it turned out that I wouldn’t be able to the migration at that moment, and after wasting 40 minutes of my time, the store assistant gave me my most feared suggestion of all: “You should call the 3 service centre and ask them to do it for you.”

Damn.

I know I have some bad experiences with service centers. It is just so long to reach a live person who can handle my problem. Plus, you wouldn’t really sure on which option to choose. Oh, it’s for my mobile service, so is it 1? Then it’s about a plan, so is it option 3? Oh no, I don’t want to start a new plan, this is horrible, I just want an assistant to talk to me so that I can tell my personal matter straightaway!

And 40 minutes later, you finally got a hold of a real person. Like, someone who talks literally like a human being.

I know they look all nice in the photo and all that, but oh boy, they do give me pain...

So after giving 3 a call, and after reaching a real live person in about 20 minutes, I explained my situation, and yup, granted, I would able to migrate to Vodafone. However, there was another problem.

When I first started a contract with 3, I was underage (not yet 18 at that time). Thus, 3 asked me to use my sister’s (or guardian’s) name instead of mine. So here was the thing: I need to change the registered name from my sister’s to mine first, before going through with the migration.

After 30ish minutes, I hung up. Why? Because my sister wasn’t there, and the person needed to talk to my sister to give her permission about the name changing.

Long story short, a couple of days later I called the 3 service again, now, with my sister sitting beside me. We went through all the procedures, and my sister talked to the call centre person. Yep, more procedures, more rules, and 60 minutes later finally the caller asked me for my passport details and home address to complete the last point of the lengthy procedure. Finally, the worst part was over.

Well, I was not even close.

After all was done, the service clerk explained that the migration needed a month’s time to be done (okay, why didn’t you tell me earlier?). I told her then, “Oh, but could you manage my migration to Vodafone first so that I would able to change plan from the $49 cap to $19 cap in two weeks, just because my 24-month-contract would be ending soon?”

In the nicest go-to-hell tone ever, she said, “Oh, you didn’t tell me earlier, all’s processed and you can’t change anything until it’s done.”

Dot. Dot. Dot.

So I was stuck with 3 for another month, I needed to pay for a month’s extra plan, I couldn’t even migrate to Vodafone, which literally IS the same company with 3, and I have wasted so many hours just to change my sister’s registered name to mine. It should be (I believe) something that can be managed over a short period of time on the store.

So after thanking her (I’ve really, really, really tried to become a good customer, okay?), I hung up, and literally almost cried to my sister. Not only I have invested too much time, both in phone and real life, in managing my stupid phone plan, I was getting nowhere.

Right after my contract ended, this very, very unsatisfied, hot-blooded customer migrated to TPG. No more 3. Heck, I don’t even believe in Vodafone now. I paid a $9.99 plan, with exactly the same benefits as my $49 plan (minus the iPhone, of course). Not only it worked beautifully, the network connection is like 100x better than 3.

But on my way home today I listened to a podcast by Joyce Meyer. Do you know what she said?

1. You will always meet the same problem over and over and over and over again until you manage to go pass that stage.

Or in Joyce Meyer’s words: “You will keep meeting those people, until they no longer bother you.”

When I heard this sentence, I laughed (sarcastically) on the tram. Why? Because I have a recurring thing going on with service centers over and over and over and over again. Now I realised why it will always be there. Because I haven’t graduated from the problem.

2. When you are about to do something, and you already believe that it will go wrong, it will. You just have the wrong attitude.

And every time I am about to deal with any of those service centers, I admit that I have the wrong attitude. I believe that I will have some bad experiences, and even if there’s nothing wrong, I will think of something. Just for the sake of reassuring myself that those call service centers do have a problem.

So is it me, or those-poor-service-center-assistants-that-I-have-sworn-to-hate-until-death-do-us-apart? I would really, really like to say it’s them, or at least 90% them and 10% me, but okay, I’m done with thinking that way. It is me.

It is my attitude that gets in the way.

And until I’m able to change it, I will keep on facing annoying service center assistants, I can assure you that. And if I do not want to change, I will keep on facing those annoying service center assistants even more often, literally until death do us apart.

So next time I’m dealing with annoying service clerk, I will remember the sarcasm in Joyce Meyer’s voice, and remind myself that it is me, not them.

Ps. If you are interested in listening to the podcast, it’s titled Seven Characteristics of a Perfect Heart. You can access the Part 1 and Part 2 by clicking the links. The specific part that I said in this blog was in the Part 2 at around min 12.

Saturday’s story: I have decided to follow Jesus

I have decided to follow Jesus
Dr. P.P. Job in his book “Why God Why”

About 150 years ago, there was a great revival in Wales, England. As a result of this, many missionaries came from England and Germany to North-East India to spread the Gospel. At the time, north-east India was not divided into many states as it is today. The region was known as Assam and comprised hundreds of tribes. The tribal communities were quite primitive and aggressive by nature. The tribal’s were also called head-hunters because of a social custom which required the male members of the community to collect as many heads as possible. A man’s strength and ability to protect his wife was assessed by the number of heads he had collected. Therefore, a youth of marriageable age would try and collect as many heads as possible and hang them on the walls of his house. The more heads a man had, the more eligible he was considered. Into this hostile and aggressive community, came a group of Welsh missionaries spreading the message of love, peace and hope of Jesus Christ.

Naturally, they were not welcomed. One Welsh missionary succeeded in converting a man, his wife, and two children. This man’s faith proved contagious and many villagers began to accept Christ. Angry, the village chief summoned all the villagers. He then called the family who had first converted to renounce their faith in public or face execution. Moved by the Holy Spirit, the man instantly composed a song which became famous down the years. He sang:

I have decided to follow Jesus.
No turning back, no turning back.

Enraged at the refusal of the man, the chief ordered his archers to arrow down the two children. As both boys lay twitching on the floor, the chief asked, “Will you deny your faith? You have lost both your children. You will lose your wife too.”

But the man sang these words in reply:

Though no one joins me, still I will follow.
No turning back, no turning back.

The chief was beside himself with fury and ordered his wife to be arrowed down. In a moment she joined her two children in death. Now he asked for the last time, “I will give you one more opportunity to deny your faith and live.”

In the face of death the man sang the final memorable lines:

The cross before me, the world behind me.
No turning back, no turning back.

He was shot dead like the rest of his family. But with their deaths, a miracle took place. The chief who had ordered the killings was moved by the faith of the man. He wondered,  “Why should this man, his wife and two children die for a Man who lived in a far-away land on another continent some 2,000 years ago? There must be some supernatural power behind the family, and I too want that supernatural power.”

In a spontaneous confession of faith, he declared, “I too belong to Jesus Christ!”  When the crowd heard this from the mouth of their chief, the whole village accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior.  This is the power of [God in] demonstration.

the end’s coming, sooner or later. which direction will you choose?

 

Talking about the previous guest post, I have drawn specifically on the issue of sharing the gospel. And here’s my thoughts, again.

It’s your mission. It’s my mission. It’s everybody’s mission.

The gospel.

Yes, I know that all non-believers that do not know Jesus will go to hell. But, I rarely thought about that. I always think that, there will be always another day to talk about Jesus. There will always be tomorrow to talk to them. Let other people (e.g. the pastors) do the preaching, I am not obliged to share the gospel to them. But I was wrong.

We are the gatekeepers. You know those people – your friends, your lovers, your parents, your families, your colleagues, whoever they are – if they don’t believe in Jesus, if they don’t believe in the gospel – they are going to hell. We are the gatekeepers of hell. How come I am actually letting them pass, and not pull them away? How come that I actually know that they are heading to hell, but not even once i tell them about the truth?

The preaching of gospel (1. God loves us so much. 2. Everyone has fallen short before the Lord. 3. God gave His only Son to die on the cross so that our sin can be forgiven. 4. Jesus was raised from death. 5. If we believe in Jesus, we can be forgiven from our sins and receive salvation) is our job.

You know, I am the person who always wants to be the other people. When I see those people who have talents in music, in singing, in dancing, in multimedia, in preaching, etc; I want to be like them. I always think that, “Lord, I want to do everything for You, but I can’t do anything. They can sing, they can preach, let them do the work. If I have all those talents then I can serve You.”

The point is, if I am someone who’s ‘big’, then I can serve the Lord.

Never once I saw the gifts that I have within me.

Never once I thought of being faithful towards the little things.

I am a person that always judges others; a person that thinks that, ‘I am better than the others’. I live as if I’m going to live forever – that I can never die. But who am I, really?

Just a vapor in the wind, nothing.

I am a person that always asks for the Holy Spirit to come, for the Lord to do His ways in my life. But I never search for Him. I only ask Him to come, to bless me, to live inside my life; but I never search Him. And today, it hits me – hard.

What right do I have to call myself a Christian, but I’ve never done anything for the Lord?

What right do I have to say that ‘I love You, Lord’, but yet I don’t do what His heart desires?

What right do I have to call myself a Christian, but yet I see those people going to the gates of hell, and not tell the truth?

Am I ashamed? Ashamed of the gospel? Ashamed of God?

Am I afraid? Afraid that people will think of me as ‘weirdo’ or something?

Am I too busy? Too busy doing things FOR MYSELF, and neglect the others?

If God says tonight, “My daughter, your time is up,” what will I say to Him?

I’ve done nothing for Him.

I have all those opportunities – in church, in universities, in buses, anywhere – but yet I sit and do nothing. Their bloods are dripping off my hands. Their souls are going to the gates of hell, and yet I’m not doing anything to stop them.

What right do I have to call myself a Christian?

The good news is, I am still alive today. God has given me another chance.

Remember, there is hell, and there is heaven. And we are the gatekeepers of hell.

Message from Thessalonians regarding the end of the world.

In this guest post, Melanie shares her experience about her dreams of the end of the world. It’s a beautiful testimony, yet in the same time, a slap on our face, once again, for not trying hard enough. I hope this can be a blessing for all of us.

Message from Thessalonians regarding the end of the world.
written by Melanie Christine Thio

I got inspired by Jason to share about my dream where I found a meaning in.

A week ago or so, I had a dream about the end of the world.

The sky had hues of red and there was no cloud to be seen.

The ground was cracked as if an earthquake had passed by.

Most buildings were destroyed and structures continued to collapse as each second passed.

I was sitting in a yellow school bus along with other ‘Christians’ whom all I don’t know of.

Everyone seemed to be calm as we rode along the cracked road.

Some girls even sang fun songs like people would when gathering around some campfire.

No one seemed to be terrified by the scene or the situation even though the city was clearly abandoned (or everyone died and got buried by the collapsed brick).

Some girl with curly dark brown hair was sitting next to me in the bus, she wasn’t a Christian.

I was determined and almost desperate to save her spirit, so I decided to teach her about God.

I took out a book which was supposed to be the bible….but it was a comic book.

Apparently I didn’t have a bible (even in a dream) so I borrowed one from some person.

I started to teach her about the 10 commandments, which was also the first thing that I learned in religion. Surprisingly, I opened the book of 1 Thessalonians to search for the commandments, and they were there (The real 10 commandments are in the book of Genesis, not Thessalonians).

The girl didn’t understand them so I re-explained but she stayed confused.

I was trying to explain again but was interrupted as we arrived at our destination.

It was a destroyed church, as big as a Greek temple, in fact, it looked like a Greek temple as the large pillars were the only thing keeping the structure intact.

I stepped out of the bus along with everyone else.

I felt a troublesome feeling, a mixed of worry and fear, as if something would come. The coming of Christ? Or perhaps…the beasts from Revelation?

Out of nowhere and in a split second, the calm atmosphere changed. People started crying, screaming and having talks with such tone, you know everyone is panicking. I was too.

I approached the same girl that was sitting beside me in the bus and re-opened Thessalonians 3 or 13. I told her “Do not steal, do not steal!”. She was having a blank confused look on her face, I started to get frustrated and almost cried. I know that as a human, she’s a sinner. Not knowing Christ, her spirit will not be saved.

Hysteric cries and insane laughter from those who have lost their minds continued to fill the air. The earth trembled and bricks were falling at a faster rate. Suddenly and somehow, I lost my knowledge about the 10 Commandments, I went to some guy (Hansley, Stanley…James?) and asked them to re-explain me the commandments so I could explain it to that girl. He was sweating and couldn’t concentrate in answering me since he too was filled with fear. In terror I started to look around. Chaos was filling the place, with dirty grey dust flying in the air, the trembling ground and falling structure, ‘Christians’ were trying to get the untouched to believe in God. We were so desperate to do a ‘good deed’, we instead forced them to believe, instead of sharing them the good news in a way that would be more suiting. I continued to look at the bible, 1 Thessalonians (3 or 13) and held it to me tightly.

I started to pray.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to be saved or let to burn in hell. I looked at the curled haired girl and felt such grief. The screams and cries, the prayers the fights, the falling bricks the shaking floor, it got so loud. I looked her in the eyes and screamed “Honor your father and mother!! You shall not murder!! You shall not commit adultery!! Believe!! Believe! Believe! Please…please!!”. Screaming it to her as if it was the only thing that matter. Everyone was trying to save lives, but everyone was losing their minds at the same time, frantic cries everywhere. People’s personalities got traded with nothing but fear, fear and fear.

For the last time I looked at the curly-haired girl eyes…it seemed like a tear came out of her frightful eye.

Will that be the same look on her face when she stands in front of God?

I’m sorry that I couldn’t save you…I failed..

And I woke up.

I immediately opened the bible and questioned myself  ‘I wonder if 1 Thessalonians actually exists?’

(You know how not every book has 2 parts?) Plus I forgot/never knew that there was a book called Thessalonians. To my astonishment, 1 Thessalonians did exist.

My heart was pounding…”Will this actually make sense? What is this book about? Will it be about something completely unrelated?”

Since in my dream/nightmare, I kept on reading Thessalonians 3 or 13, I looked for chapter 13 first.

I was nervous.

I kept on flipping the page…

“Thessalonians 13…Thessalonians 13…where is Thessalonians 13?”

There is no Thessalonians 13..

So I looked for chapter 3…There should be a chapter 3 right? It’s such a low number…

1 Thessalonians 3

 1 So when we could stand it no longer, we thought it best to be left by ourselves in Athens. 2 We sent Timothy, who is our brother and co-worker in God’s service in spreading the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith, 3 so that no one would be unsettled by these trials. For you know quite well that we are destined for them. 4 In fact, when we were with you, we kept telling you that we would be persecuted. And it turned out that way, as you well know. 5 For this reason, when I could stand it no longer, I sent to find out about your faith. I was afraid that in some way the tempter had tempted you and that our labors might have been in vain.

 6 But Timothy has just now come to us from you and has brought good news about your faith and love. He has told us that you always have pleasant memories of us and that you long to see us, just as we also long to see you. 7 Therefore, brothers and sisters, in all our distress and persecution we were encouraged about you because of your faith. 8 For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord. 9 How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you? 10 Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you again and supply what is lacking in your faith.

 11 Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus clear the way for us to come to you. 12 May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. 13 May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.

And I thought…

‘This has nothing to do with my dream.

I knew it…dreams always twists information.

How could the 10 Commandments be in Thessalonians anyways? It should be in Genesis.

Yup, definitely nothing more than a dream.’

As I was about to close the bible, my eyes caught some words in the summary description box in the bible saying:

‘The Lord’s Coming’.

I continued to read

Thessalonians 4

Living to Please God

 1 As for other matters, brothers and sisters, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. 2 For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.

 3 It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; 4 that each of you should learn to control your own body[a] in a way that is holy and honorable, 5 not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; 6 and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister.[b] The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before. 7 For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. 8 Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit.

 9 Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. 10 And in fact, you do love all of God’s family throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more, 11 and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, 12 so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.

 13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

1 Thessalonians 5

 1 Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, 2 for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

 4 But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. 5 You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. 6 So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. 8 But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. 9 For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10 He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

Final Instructions

 12 Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. 13 Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. 14 And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.

 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21 but test them all; hold on to what is good, 22 reject every kind of evil.

 23 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.

 25 Brothers and sisters, pray for us. 26 Greet all God’s people with a holy kiss. 27 I charge you before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers and sisters.

 28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

That ends the book.

I was… speechless…

This is..sooo coool.

But scary at the same time.

Anyways, the point if this is that:

Paul started a church in Thessalonians, and he went away or something? He was really eager to visit or to come back, to see how the churches were doing. But they couldn’t because according to 1 Thessalonians 2 17-18: 17

But, brothers and sisters, when we were orphaned by being separated from you for a short time (in person, not in thought), out of our intense longing we made every effort to see you. 18 For we wanted to come to you—certainly I, Paul, did, again and again—but Satan blocked our way.  

Paul was eager to see how they were doing, he was eager to keep them in Christ. He was glad and thankful for their faith, loving work and firm hope on Jesus Christ. Even though satan kept on blocking their way, they didn’t give up. They kept on trying again and again. Trying so hard. Until at the end they accepted and send Tomothy to deliver the letter.

Now, compare Paul’s personality to everyone’s personality in my dream.

This, my friends, is how one who claim to be a real Christian should be.

Paul has dedicated his life on spreading the gospels, eager to share every second of his life.

But in my dream, no one cared.

Instead, everyone forced themselves to spread the gospels on such last minute.

Did we really expect all those confused people to just BOOM and believe in Christ just like that?

With no proper conversation, no testimony, no verses or proof or anything?

Just…screams in the eye of fright?

Did I really think that that curly haired girl would know God by me screaming to her “Do not steal! Do not steal!”?

As Christians, our duty is to glorify God in whatever we do and to spread the word of God.

Forcing people to believe in God does not glorify God.

And waiting until the last minute of our life to spread the word of God is no use.

It’s like making excuses to get saved.

What exactly was I trying to do in my dream? Why was everyone trying to save people?

Perhaps..it’s because we wanted to LOOK good?

When judgement day comes, we will be standing in front of God, face to face.

I’m sure that the reason I tried to safe curly hair girl was so that I could tell God “I saved that person :) ”.

The more and more I think of it, the more I bash myself for being a Moron.

In my whole entire life, the so many souls I can help…why wait till it’s too late? Can I really stand in front of God proud? Just with 1 soul? How many people do we pass each day? How many people do we know? How many ‘friends’ do we have in facebook? Why safe 1? Just 1?

The message I got out of this is

1.       Have a bible. Clearly a comic book would not help in any way.

2.       Share the Gospels before it’s too late.

1 Thessalonians 5:2 says: For you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.

And Jason’s quote that he got during a prayer said “prepare for the worst, and you’ll have no regrets”

I’m taking his quote as… if we prepare for judgment day/end of the world, then we’ll be sharing the word of God. If we do that starting now, then we’ll have no regret not sharing it when the time comes.

So Thessalonians did have something to do with the end of the world… just like my dream.

It’s weird cause I didn’t even know Thessalonians existed.

I’m sure we’re aware that judgement day is near.

But does it cross our mind that that day can be… tomorrow? Three days from now? After a week?

We need to live, like judgement day is tomorrow.

With this I mean that we need to stop procrastinating and taking this lightly.

Start saving lives and do everything according to God’s will.

Read the bible to be able to do this.

Let’s not only worry for ourselves, thinking if we’ll be saved or not.

Let’s start thinking about others.

I know it’s easier said than done.

But… let’s be one of those Christians that God can actually be proud of!

Faith

‘Let me explain the problem science has with religion.’ The atheist Professor of philosophy pauses before his class and then asks one of his new students to stand.

‘You’re a Christian, aren’t you, son?’

‘Yes sir,’ the student says.

‘So you believe in God?’

‘Absolutely.

‘Is God good?’

‘Sure! God’s good.’

‘Is God all-powerful? Can God do anything?’

‘Yes’

‘Are you good or evil?’

‘The Bible says I’m evil.’

The professor grins knowingly. ‘Aha! The Bible!’ He considers for a moment. ‘Here’s one for you.

Let’s say there’s a sick person over here and you can cure him. You can do it. Would you help him? Would you try?’

‘Yes sir, I would.’

‘So you’re good…!’

‘I wouldn’t say that.’

‘But why not say that? You’d help a sick and maimed person if you could. Most of us would if we could.

But God doesn’t.’

The student does not answer, so the professor continues.

‘He doesn’t, does he? My brother was a Christian who died of cancer, even though he prayed to Jesus to heal him.

How is this Jesus good? Hmmm? Can you answer that one?’

The student remains silent.

‘No, you can’t, can you?’ the professor says.

He takes a sip of water from a glass on his desk to give the student time to relax.

‘Let’s start again, young fella. Is God good?’

‘Er..yes,’ the student says.

“Is Satan good?’

The student doesn’t hesitate on this one. ‘No.’

‘Then where does Satan come from?’

The student falters. ‘From God’

‘That’s right. God made Satan, didn’t he? Tell me, son. Is there evil in this world?’

‘Yes, sir.’

‘Evil’s everywhere, isn’t it? And God did make everything correct??

‘Yes’

‘So who created evil?’ The professor continued, ‘If God created everything, then God created evil, since evil exists, and according to the principle that our works define who we are, then God is evil.’

Again, the student has no answer. ‘Is there sickness?

Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible things, do they exist in this world?’

The student squirms on his feet. ‘Yes.’

‘So who created them?’

The student does not answer again, so the professor repeats his question. ‘Who created them?’ There is still no answer. Suddenly the lecturer breaks away to pace in front of the classroom. The class is mesmerized. ‘Tell me,’ he continues onto another student.

‘Do you believe in Jesus Christ, son?

The student’s voice betrays him and cracks. ‘Yes, professor, I do.’

The old man stops pacing. ‘Science says you have five senses you use to identify and observe the world around you.

Have you ever seen Jesus?’

‘No sir. I’ve never seen Him.’

‘Then tell us if you’ve ever heard your Jesus?’

‘No, sir, I have not.’

‘Have you ever felt your Jesus, tasted your Jesus or smelled your Jesus? Have you ever had any sensory perception of Jesus Christ, or God for that matter?’

‘No, sir, I’m afraid I haven’t.’

‘Yet you still believe in him?’

‘Yes’

‘According to the rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science says your God doesn’t exist. What do you say to that, son?’

‘Nothing,’ the student replies. ‘I only have my faith.’

‘Yes, faith,’ the professor repeats. ‘And that is the problem science has with God. There is no evidence, only faith.’

The student stands quietly for a moment, before asking a question of his own. ‘Professor, is there such thing as heat?’

‘ Yes.’

‘And is there such a thing as cold?’

‘Yes, son, there’s cold too.’

‘No sir, there isn’t.’

The professor turns to face the student, obviously interested.

The room suddenly becomes very quiet. The student begins to explain.

‘You can have lots of heat, even more heat, super-heat, mega-heat, unlimited heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat, but we don’t have anything called ‘cold’.

We can hit up to 458 degrees below zero, which is no heat, but we can’t go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold; otherwise we would be able to go colder than the lowest -458 degrees.’

‘Every body or object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matte r have or transmit energy. Absolute zero (-458 F) is the total absence of heat. You see, sir, cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat we can measure in thermal units because heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it.’

Silence across the room. A pen drops somewhere in the classroom, sounding like a hammer.

‘What about darkness, professor. Is there such a thing as darkness?’

‘Yes,’ the professor replies without hesitation.

‘What is night if it isn’t darkness?’

‘You’re wrong again, sir. Darkness is not something; it is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light, but if you have no light constantly you have nothing and it’s called darkness, isn’t it? That’s the meaning we use to
define the word.’

‘In reality, darkness isn’t. If it were, you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn’t you?’

The professor begins to smile at the student in front of him. This will be a good semester. ‘So what point are you making, young man?

‘Yes, professor. My point is, your philosophical premise is flawed to start with, and so your conclusion must also be flawed.’

The professor’s face cannot hide his surprise this time. ‘Flawed? Can you explain how?’

‘You are working on the premise of duality,’ the student explains…

‘You argue that there is life and then there’s death; a good God and a bad God. You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, science can’t even explain a thought.’

‘It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life, just the absence of it. ‘Now tell me, professor. Do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?’

‘If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, young man, yes, of course I do.’

‘Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?’

The professor begins to shake his head, still smiling, as he realizes where the argument is going. A very good semester, indeed.

‘Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor, are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you now not a scientist, but a preacher?’

The class is in uproar. The student remains silent until the commotion has subsided.

‘To continue the point you were making earlier to the other student, let me give you an example of what I mean.’

The student looks around the room. ‘Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the professor’s brain?’

The class breaks out into laughter.

‘Is there anyone here who has ever heard the professor’s brain, felt the professor’s brain, touched or smelled the professor’s brain? No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no brain, with all due respect, sir.’

‘So if science says you have no brain, how can we trust your lectures, sir?’

Now the room is silent. The professor just stares at the student, his face unreadable.

Finally, after what seems an eternity, the old man answers. ‘I guess you’ll have to take them on faith.’

‘Now, you accept that there is faith, and, in fact, faith exists with life,’ the student continues.

‘Now, sir, is there such a thing as evil?’

Now uncertain, the professor responds, ‘Of course, there is. We see it everyday It is in the daily example of man’s inhumanity to man. It is in the multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world. These manifestations are nothing else but evil.’

To this the student replied, ‘Evil does not exist sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God’s love present in his heart. It’s like the cold that comes when there is no heat or the darkness that comes when there is no light.’

The professor sat down.

by Anonymous.

Why are you here?

THE metaphysical question, although simple, is one that most people on earth do not know how to answer.

Beginning my another mundane Monday with switching class (instead of going to the lecture at 10, I decided to go at 4), I open my laptop and start saying hello to the virtual world: what’s happening on Twitter, Facebook, checking e-mails: Yahoo, Gmail, Unimail, and YouTube news.

Accidentally watching a video on YouTube, I find myself asking, why am I here, on this earth?

Some Christians, in the video, know their purposes on earth. Some others comment that even Plato and Aristotle in all their wisdom can’t give a satisfying answer towards this question. Others say that they’re here to “have a good life.”

So why am I here?

Science says that it doesn’t matter if I’m here or not. I’m insignificant, just another human among 110 billion others who have been born.

Business says that I’m here to become a good consumer and spend more on earthly stuffs.

Environmentalism says that I’m here to breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide and to make global warming worse, with little good contribution towards the nature around me.

The virtual reality world says that I’m here to increase more traffic – to use Facebook, four different e-mail portals, WordPress, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and a bunch of other websites.

Law says that I’m here to be a good citizen with other 80% others who have never broken any rules, so that they have less things to take care about.

These answers, although factual, don’t really get to the answer of why are we here.

Imagine that you have an iPhone. You can use this Apple product in various ways, and download 1001 apps according to your will. However, iPhone is still a creation, and our knowledge is limited as we are only users. To understand its full potential, we need ask the iPhone’s creator what it’s been created for.

The same thing happens with humans. We can fill out our lives with anything – to use our time practically doing anything that we want. But to maximise the limited time that we have, to answer that very core of why we are created, we need to ask the creator.

The more I try to answer the question and share it to you, the more I feel that it’s not what I’m supposed to do. It will become just another cliche, another statement, another saying that doesn’t make sense to anyone else but me. In a sense, the question of why are you here, is important to answer, yet it is personalised to each person.

You may believe that there is a God who created humans. Or you may also believe that there are no creators that have created humans. Whatever the case is, living life only once, why should we live another mundane life – to grow, to go to school, to work, to get married, to have children to grow older, and then to die?

Live your life with purpose. Live your life with knowing the answer to the question, “Why are you here?”

Then, it would not be just another life.

because life is short - and enjoyable.