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God's Timing

Mariana Blog

Have you ever looked back at your life and said, “I should have done this long ago, now it is too late” and regret or feel guilty about it while believing that if you did things differently, things would have turned out better? Or have you ever been so eager to do something, yet unable to because of countless obstacles including procrastination? Does God’s timing actually play a part in all of this?

I look at my smartphone so many times in a day, and I found myself wondering how in the world I ended up relying on this small piece of special equipment. I wondered about the journey of smartphones, from the humble beginnings of the telephone to how it became what it is today. I thought of the telephone inventor named Alexander Graham Bell (although, the real telephone inventor is still debateable), and I watched documentaries on YouTube and googled him. I wanted to know if he knew that his invention would someday lead to the smartphones that we have today.

I learned that well-known inventors back then had to rely on other not so well-known inventors. In other words, great inventions can only be made possible after other people invented small things that the great inventor needed. But overall, I realised that all the inventors back then, great or not so great, were people who were ahead of their time.

Maybe we are all ahead of our time if we want to achieve something. It’s only that some things are small (taken for granted) and some things are huge (never happened/existed before). And what we want to achieve may not happen, but what if it does happen? What Mr. Bell wanted to achieve did happen. I really want to say that people everywhere at that time were excited and were shouting with joy, “our problems have been solved!” Unfortunately, the response was not so great. Of course, we all know what happened after that.

And what can I say about the big regrets and guilty feelings for things that we didn’t do? Would it really make a difference if we did things differently? It may make a difference, but are we sure the difference is for the better? I’m not so sure, but if I go back to Mr. Graham Bell’s first ‘eureka’ telephone moment, most people still didn’t share his enthusiasm at that time – they thought the telephone was not as useful as telegraph. Mr. Bell could regret inventing it as much as people who regret not doing things, but he didn’t quit, otherwise we may not have our smartphones.

So let’s not be overcome too much by regrets and guilt. And just because things don’t happen as we expect, things might happen way above our expectation in the long run. Mr. Bell didn’t visualize smartphones, but he did visualize wireless phone, and that lead to other great things in his future.

Don't Judge a Book by its Cover

Alex Blog

In the past couple of years, we have had many people come and go from our church and in the old hostel. Everyone from young adults up to older people have all lived there. I will be honest and say that I judged some of the residents at the hostel, especially the older men with tattoos; the type of men who I thought I better not get on the wrong side of or I would get punched; guys who have been in and out of jail most of their lives. I chose to judge them without even saying ‘hello’.

In the Bible, Matthew 7:1-2 says, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with measure you use, it will be measured to you.” It even says in the Bible not to judge others otherwise we will be judged.

So why do we do this? We judge before we have even said a single word them. For some of us, we have insecurities; we want to look like those models in the magazines or on TV, etc. Without knowing their everyday struggles, some of us like to say that these types of people only care about themselves and how they look. We say these things to make us feel better about ourselves.

We mainly judge when we don’t know a person or have just met somebody. Like when we get a new classmate or workmate, we start figuring out who they are, which is exactly what I did with the residents at the hostel. I chose judge them because of how they looked.

It wasn’t until one of my friends moved in there that I actually started making conversation with them. It was always small talk, but slowly I was willing to open up to the residents. Sitting down and chatting with one of the guys with tattoos, he started talking to me about his children and how he wants a better life for himself and for his children. He really wants to get everything in his life sorted so he can be with his kids again. At that point, I realized how much of a soft heart he actually had and what he was saying to me and, well, I thought it was really sweet.

Since that conversation, he has done nothing but encourage me in everything I do. He tells me to hug myself every day and also look in the mirror every day and tell myself that I love myself. I now know that I will always get a positive response when I talk to him. Thinking back now, I wonder why I was actually afraid of him. The tattoos, the clothes, the way he talked, I judged him.

If I hadn’t taken the time to sit and chat with him, I would still be afraid of him. Next time you meet someone for the first time, try not to judge them, instead look beyond their appearance. Ask them questions, and find out something amazing about that person. Just remember you will never know a person until you start asking questions.