Monthly Archives: September 2010
Space, solitude, and silence. What do these mean to you? What do they reveal to you? Last weekend, I joined a retreat in Maranatha Retreat house. Joining a retreat is good for your soul. This is what Kathleen (Editor) told me in one of the emails that I received from her. One of the things that struck me when I was there was simply the beauty. Looking from far, the place seemed like a haunted house. However, my perception is wrong and inside was a heaven! I guess I paid this retreat fee less for more!
Maranatha is situated on the edge of the second jungle in Bentong. What an eco-friendly place! Most of the furniture is made from the pine trees removed on the site during building. Furnishings have been kept simple and uncluttered. The water in the ponds are from a natural spring found on the site. You will find butterflies, dragonflies, birds, iguanas, frogs, monkeys, ants, and flies and the occasional buzzing and biting insects. Their presences add colours, sound, and sight for your appreciation of God’s small creatures. If you do not want them up close, please do not feed them especially the monkeys.
‘How does God catch our attention?’ That was the first question asked by Fr. Larry, a Jesuit priest. The question very much related to the theme, but somehow I was puzzling at that moment. Most of the time, retreatants were to observe silence. The silence respects and protects each person’s space and privacy, and ensures that no one retreatant can undermine another’s retreat by talking about his or her own agenda. The whole point is to break free of the many chains to which we may find we are more attached than we thought we were, to move forward to wherever God within us is inviting us. Back to the question just now, God catches our attention through our deepest desire. Without realization, I have seven high desires which are curiousity, saving, honour, family, romance, physical activity, and tranquillity. My low desires are power, social contact, status, vengeance. Whatever my desires at the moment, I just pray that I will be responsible with whatever my choices are. How to make good choice if we have conflicting desires? Quoted from Jim Rohn, an American entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker, “When you know what you want, and want it bad enough, you will find a way to get it.”God is beautiful, Nature is beautiful. Silence is beautiful.
I don’t care who you are, whether you are very rich or very poor. I don’t care if you are old. I don’t care if you are very young. I don’t care what kind of education you have whether you’ve got Phd behind after your name or you never even step in the classroom. I do not care who you are. This statement is true 100% you will end up in a box (coffin) just like that, every single one of you. You will. Trust me. You don’t believe me? Trust me. This will be your home. My final story is about the doctor that I prayed for. Sixties. Young. Sixties and young now. He came to me, very distinguished looking, let’s call him House. (not his real name). He said, ‘Brother Bo, my name is House and I am a doctor. I’ve got cancer. My doctor told me that I’ve got 6 months to live 9 months ago. So I am living in ‘borrowed’ time.’ And he begins to cry. He is a tall man, broad shoulder. He begins to cry in front of me and said, ‘Bo, I’ve achieved a lot of things. I earned a lot of money. I travelled the world. I gained esteem of my calling and passion, and I have a lot of money. But Br. Bo, I am here in front of you to ask you please pray for extension. I realized that I have 6 months to live and I went home and I realized that my gosh, all of a sudden I want to go out and help the poor, all of a sudden I want to go to church, all of a sudden I want to serve God, all of a sudden I want to do so many things for others and for God, but I have only got six months to live. So I don’t know you have ever experienced that. A grown up sixties-year-old old man crying in front of you. He kneeled down in front of me and I pray for him and ask God to extend his life. Dr. House lives for another 2 years, and then he ends up in the box just like that. My dear friends, my invitation for you is don’t wait too long for you to shine your light and love, to use whatever gifted that God has given to you to manifest it and to serve. He then tells the audience that it has been his dream to give a talk with the coffin as his backdrop (fulfilled now), to remind us of how limited our time here is on earth. While he was preparing his talk on his computer, his two sons jumping up and down and begging him to play with them. After playing with them, he went back to his computer. Then after 5 minutes, his little boys asked him to watch movie. Wouldn’t be easier to just tell the kids that he is preparing an inspiration talk for the big event? No. He didn’t. Do you know why? Because of this! (He pointed the coffin). He knew that before he placed his body on that box, he didn’t want to feel regret and said that he did not love his kids in his life. When his kids ask him to play with them, he never says no because he has got so little time. One day, they will be gone. he will be gone. That box will be waiting for him. While he is alive, he is going to shine his light on his kids, wife, friends and all the people that he serves, the poor. I don’t want to be like Dr. House. No way! Shine your light now when you’re alive.