Today is a public holiday (010615) (Vesak Day) well spent as I made my way to the Church of the Holy Spirit for a writing workshop. Having attended one of the previous sessions in 2014, I was excited to meet other fellow writers and also have the chance to just write and let my thoughts flow with the pen. I am thankful for the people who have made the workshop possible as it opens opportunities for Jesus to work through people in many ways, one of which is writing.
Writing is like a well that never runs out as there are stories to be told, emotions to be felt and experiences to be shared. Yes, everyone can be a writer as words make up paragraphs and more paragraphs make up a short account. It is also a time when we can just sit down and pen down the things that are on our mind and look at “where we are in our life at the present moment?” or “what is bugging us in life?” It is easy and it can be as simple as one sentence per day. I pray that I will not lose interest in writing as it is one of the few things that I enjoy doing.
The first prompt in the workshop was “What’s Going On?“ The first thing that came to my mind was concerns and worries that were on my mind. Concerns about another week in school which means time needed to understand the concepts being taught in class. Also commitments to handle, chores to do and less time for rest- This is the life of a Singaporean student.
In times like this, we must allow God to enter our presence to help us out with these concerns as he knows the things that we are facing which we might disclose to others and things that we might hide from others. In our moments throughout the day, he is always with us but on our part,we have to be willing and open to his invitation of “Are we going to let him enter our hearts and lives?”
Entering our lives with God first begins with silent prayer and contemplation which can be done throughout the day. Prayers can be said at any point in our lives and at any moment which means the connection with Jesus is always there and that he is only a prayer away.
Proceeding on we were asked to list down all the common “Don’ts in our Life“ which is based largely on the 10 commandments and a few that I have included such as Don’t be Judgmental, be Sad, be Angry,be Hurtful among other things.
The second prompt in the workshop was a pictorial image of “A Cocoon“ and the question,”Imagine being boxed up.Imagine not doing anything. Imagine not being free. Reflect on a time in your life when you felt like this.”These feelings of being trapped and having to conform to other people’s opinions are present in both school and in the community. I am searching and running, looking for an outlet, similar to that of a cocoon, unable to move, unable to do anything as everybody just agrees.
In school, there are cliques and if you switch friends, it might spark disagreements or gossip. Sometimes, it is hard to make genuine friends as people are not open because they are boxed up by their own thinking that they do not think of others around them. In the community, though it is one community, everyone is divided into smaller cliques that it might leave certain people out of that circle. These aspects make me feel boxed up as people are either too afraid or they do not want to voice their opinion; it can be hard to be heard sometimes, as there is only one voice.
I retreat into my own cocoon which is my home, my family and interests as it is where I feel warmth and I am safe to be who I am without being judged as my family is open and supportive of my endeavours. The Family is truly important and this closeness can be forged through prayer and bonding together.
I still pray to Jesus to help me , the rest of the people who are feeling the same way and others that they may experience his grace, his loving embrace and words of encouragement and wisdom to stand up and be different. A cocoon is God’s beauty made known to us by nature. To me, being in touch with nature means being free which translates to the ability to feel for others. This is a call to not be boxed up but to eventually break free and appreciate the beautiful creation that God has created.
God Bless! and I am grateful for the sharings and affirmation that the participants and the organizers have given to each other so that everyone can nurture this gift of writing which will allow many to experience Jesus in a special, yet personal way.
Written By: Darren Chan Keng Leong