Do you trust me? Unreservedly.

There was a scene in X-Men First Class that I remember fondly. Banshee (the guy with sonar voice) was standing on top of the satellite dish with Charles Xavier and Eric Lansherr. He was wearing his new flying cape which Beast made for him so he could “fly” by propelling himself upwards with the sound waves from his voice.

Banshee: Do you really believe I can do this?

Charles: Unreservedly.

Banshee: I trust you.

Charles: Thank you.

Banshee: I don’t trust him. (pointing towards Beast)

Charles: (To Beast) Say nothing.

Banshee: I am going to die!

But first, Banshee had to jump off the dish. That required him two things. First, he had to believe with absolute certainty that Beast has made him a flying cape that will catch the wind as sound waves from his voice propels him off the ground. Second, he had to believe he had the abilities to do it. It would be impossible of him to jump off if he did not believe, and it would be useless for him to even try if he did not have the ability. Because he has already got to this point, it meant he definitely had the ability.

He whined, whinged and pottered around a bit. Guess what happened next? Eric Lansherr shoved  (literally) off the satellite. Facing a life and death situation, Banshee spread his arms, yelled and in a magical moment, the sound waves propelled him off the ground. He curved up beautifully, swopped down and past the satellite dish.

::

This reminds me of how God guides non-obviously. In his sermon My Plans:God’s Plans, Keller said that God’s guidance is what He does, more than what He gives. To know that I have received guidance is to experience it in situations, and be shown through deliverance. God definitely has given me the ability to survive and even excel in certain situations. However, if He had only told me about my abilities but never given me the opportunity, would I know my abilities are real? If I had not acted on what skills I were given, I will never be convinced.

However most of the time, the likely situation resembles me as Banshee. Hovering on the edge, gripping tightly the lifebuoy of God, with the fore-knowledge that God will be with me, I linger, whine, make a million excuses why I cannot. “I will die.”, “I will never ever ever get through it. It is so hard!” and the obvious “why me?! Pick someone else.” What happens in the end? God gets fed up and shoves me in.

There are two ways I could deal with being shoved in. I could either fall to my death, or rather just complain about bad luck. Or I could, use my life buoy, and dog peddle to the other end which God has directed. What most of us, even myself, could never realise is when we rely on God, we definitely will reach the other end. And we will emerge, more transformed, and closer to what God wants us to be.

God does not give us a safety rope, hold it and drag us to shore. God does not piggy back us to the end. What God does is to push us into situations so we learn how to use the gifts He has given so we can become better, closer to what He is (we were made in His image after all), and become more able to make better decisions. In the process, He calls us to be entirely trusting in Him just as He does for us, and have full confidence in Him as we leap. Complete trust is being able to leap confidently and with abandonment unot Him.  

The outcome of God’s testing is always beautiful, no matter how frightening and dark it may be. It always ends with a beautiful swop and triumph whoop.

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When you feel you can’t go on, you can raise your hands and say

If you ask me why I rely solely God, this is the reason.

When you’re up against a wall 
And your mountain seems so tall 
And you realize that life’s not always fair 
You can run away and hide 
Let the old man decide 
Or you can change your curcumstances with a prayer 

When everything falls apart 
Praise his name 
When you have a broken heart 
Raise your hands and say 
Lord, you’re all I need 
You’re everything to me 
And he’ll take the pain away 
When you feel you’re all alone 
Praise his name 
And you feel all hope is gone 
Raise your hands and say 
Greater is he that is within me 
And you can praise the hurt away 
If you’ll just praise his name 

Ohhh, 
You can overcome 
By the blood of the lamb 
And by the word of your testimony 
You’ll see the darkness go 
As your faith begins to grow 
You’re not alone, so how can you be lonely

Brokenness aside

A few nights ago, I was praying for a friend who is seeking. I am reminded of the struggles shared with me when I was doing street evangelism. With everything going well, how does God fit in? How can life become better with God, especially when it seems good enough? One of the hardest pictures to paint to a non-believer is the chasm between now and future, and how God-led transformation is not just better but the best.

It is true when people say that the Christian faith is exclusive. It is a faith established and held together by a community of people who want to further the kingdom of God. It is also a faith where the relationship with God is very personal and intimate. There are no secrets. When the essence of faith is built upon such a deep and close relationship, how can I describe adequately in words that God is real?

I like this song by All Sons and Daughters – Brokenness Aside – because it feels like a conversation with God.

Will your grace run out
If I let you down 
‘Cause all I know
Is how to run

‘Cause I am a sinner 
If its not one thing its another
Caught up in words 
Tangled in lies 
You are the Savior 
And you take brokenness aside
And make it beautiful 
Beautiful 

Will you call me child
When I tell you lies 
Cause all I know 
Is how to cry 

I am a sinner 
If its not one thing its another 
Caught up in words 
Tangled in lies 
You are the Savior 
And you take brokenness aside
And make it beautiful 
Beautiful 

Bridge: 
You make it beautiful
You make it beautiful

options.

We are unable to make choices, not because we don’t have any, but because we have too many options. We believe that the best choice is made when we gather an array of options, take a step back to evaluate, then pick one. Do we fear that we do ourselves a disservice if we pick too soon, too quick? I think so. We fear that when we have made a choice, there would be something else better that comes by.

Often, the dilemma presents itself when we have in mind what we want, which often is a composite of the must-haves. I like to call this the MM: Magical Mosaic. And we believe that we will not be happy or satisfied until we have every single thing we want. Right place, right time. In the exact manner we envision. Then life becomes perfect.

So we wait.

Or we create a checklist for every aspect of our lives. Career. Friends. Partner. Social life. Hobby. From the macro to the micro. And we mentally run through these lists, almost giving a score and hoping that one day it will hit a 90%.

Or so we think.

 

 

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the intp

While proficiency may not be a central goal, competence always is. The difference here may be subtle, but it is important. If an INTP decides to learn a skill, then it is very important for him that he reaches a sufficient level so that basic errors can be avoided. Errors made by others are to be expected and can be criticised. But errors made by oneself attack the very root of the person, which is ultimately about rationality, logic and truth. INTPs hate to think of themselves being in any way inadequate, at least in areas that are important to them. So, as soon as he puts himself behind some task, then he must achieve competency. But that is as far as it goes. Refined competency requires too much effort and has little attraction. It would require practice and that usually bores an INTP. Hence, it is common to see INTPs dabbling at many things, achieving competency, just enough to prove to themselves that they could become more proficient if they wished, but rarely actually bothering to refine their skills further. This is a point at which we begin to get a feel for the workings of iNtuition backing up Thinking. The INTP has a whole set of skills which he knows that he would be proficient at, yet other people may know little of this. He is satisfied with the knowledge that he has these skills but often sees no requirement to demonstrate this to others, an indication of the strong Ti nature.

i am a breakfast person

The best bircher muesli I had is at Postal Hall, Melbourne. It was love at first bite, and if bircher was on the brunch menu, I would pick it over poached eggs. (yes, despite my intense love for poached eggs, bircher still comes first)

Unfortunately good bircher isn’t available in Singapore easily, and when it is available, it is usually too expensive. So I finally did a round of grocery shopping, and picked up organic rolled oats, natural yogurt, dried blueberries and raisins. It took me less than 5 minutes to make a batch, which is sitting prettily in the fridge for breakfast tomorrow.

For one ellen-sized serving, I grabbed two handful of oats, tossed in blue berries and raisins, grated half an apple in and soaked it in Bonsoy. I use bonsoy because I am a self-declared lactose intolerant 😉 and it has been this way for years. By morning, all I need to do is stir in some honey and a spoon of yogurt and I am all ready.

All i need tomorrow, is a cup of latte, for the finishing touch for perfection.