Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Identity vs activity

"The struggle in our society is that we don't have an answer for [the] question ['Who am I?'] so we send [our kids] off to college to learn how to do something, thinking that if they learn enough it will satisfy their longing for identity. Identity doesn't come from education but from impartation. We can't educate ourselves into our identities. Proper identity comes from the impartation of our heavenly Father speaking to us through the people He has assigned to give oversight to us.

"You have to be a human being before you are a human doing. When we try to 'do' something without first 'being' someone, we usually find ourselves making a living at a job we hate. Another ramification of this failure to discover true identity is that many people learn to derive their self-esteem from what they do. This may seem fine for a while if they can perform well. When they can't perform anymore, for whatever reason, their self-esteem goes into the pit."

Kris Vallotton, The Supernatural Ways of Royalty

Someone close to me has just begun an exciting "career break" that will hopefully result in a better incorporation of her talent, interests and livelihood.

Several others have been venting to me the strikingly similar frustrations found in their various jobs.

One thing I find we all have in common: we still fall for this one really easily. "What do you do?" is acceptable small talk with someone you've just met.

If I get asked that one more time by another nosey and ill-concerned stranger, "I respire," might just be the answer forthcoming. Sometimes, we're just asking for a Blinding Statement of the Obvious.

When will we learn to value the who over the what and how?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

This post is Not About My Breakfast

From today's cache of digital images, we offer you this shot of our lovely model with an order of eggs Benedict at Robert Timms in Wheelock Place, Singapore. Served with a modest side of salad, grilled tomato and baked beans... and butter and jam, the most bizarre accompaniment I have ever seen to a savoury breakfast.

But that's not what this post is about.

Breakfast with an old friend this morning turned out to be unexpectedly profound.

Some of the lessons we learnt through today's events are more hers than mine to share, but there were more than enough to go around. Even with two highly reflective introverts present.

Here's one that I got.

Shortly after we'd been seated, I handed her a gift.

Saw her smile as she looked at the colourful die-cut shape of the notebook.

Watched her enthusiastically open it to see the printed pages.

Heard her exclaim at the cuteness of the whole.

Felt my heart sink, not a little, when she said, "But I won't use it, lor."

You, Ms Recipient, yes you, I know you read my blog and maybe that's why I'm posting this anyway. But don't feel you alone are being targeted; I know I'm guilty of the same thing. I think most of us are, and it seems the perfect season to put an end to this practice of incomplete receiving.

The gifts we're given aren't really ours, are they, until we put them to use?

Until their packaging is wrecked, they can still be returned.

Until their pages are marked, they can be handed on to someone else, and none the wiser.

Until the gift is put to its intended use, the giver gets no gratification for his thoughtful, personal choice.

It makes me a little queasy to know that my paltry gift may remain wrapped in cellophane, untouched by the priceless record of my friend's days.

I wonder how much worse it must feel to have given a far more valuable gift, only to see it forgotten and neglected whilst we fumble our way around for lack of it.

It's only too easy in this season to get caught up in the gifts we exchange, forgetting those that have already been laid before us.

Are we breaking someone's heart by neglecting to open and experience all that he has unstintingly given?

Today, tomorrow and always, I would like us to feast on the gift; let's drink to the dregs.

A peaceful Christmas to you.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

I do not know why

my circadian rhythm is once more completely topsy-turvy, and I can't sleep at night.

And such videos as this exist:

Imponderable, yet not altogether disagreeable.

Good night.
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