Lord, Save Me! Save Us!


Pushing Through. I am back from my recent university trip to  Bangkok, Thailand, as part of the 8th United Nations Student Leaders’ Symposium. It is also my last major school related activity that I will be participating in as I need to detach myself from my university commitments. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the trip as it was my first trip travelling without my parents and having to be independent.

It was an enriching experience to look at another’s country culture, sights and infrastructure. Despite the huge rich and poor divide in the country which could be seen in the streets as I moved around the city, I could see the determined spirit of the people to make a living- pushing pushcarts around with food and some selling handicrafts in night markets.

Most of all this new found travel experience gave me new friends that I could count on and we bonded nicely during the trip. I did not want the trip to end as I felt relaxed and free. Now, I am back to the daily grind, trying to push through each day to meet society’s expectations. We definitely need to be the change that we want to see in the world.

The gospel reading opens by saying,“After he had fed the people, Jesus made the disciples get into a boat and precede him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When it was evening he was there alone. Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore, was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it.

During the fourth watch of the night, he came toward them walking on the sea. When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified. “It is a ghost,” they said, and they cried out in fear. At once Jesus spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” Peter said to him in reply,”Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus. 

But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened; and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught Peter, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” After they got into the boat, the wind died down. Those who were in the boat did him homage, saying,”Truly, you are the Son of God (Matthew 14:22-33).”

Life has many storms, some mild, while others are huge which could catch us off guard. I can vouch for the storms that stirs the moment I start a brand new day and it can be tiring to go up against them head-on. I am reminded that even if I lose everything, I still have Jesus to count on. He says to each one of us,“Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”

Relying on our own strength is futile because we falter and stumble, and we need Jesus to overcome our struggles and life’s challenges. Like Peter, Jesus provides a teachable moment when he outstretched his arm to save Peter from drowning in the deep waters of the lake. Jesus is with us and only when our faith is ultimately tested that we learn to trust and strengthen our faith, knowing that Jesus is there because he saves.

Walking along the streets of Thailand, I could see that many needed saving, from poverty, hopelessness and a lack of choice. They struggle to get by, but at least they try and that showed me the resilience present in the human spirit. They still try to make the best of their less than ideal situation to get by.

I have much to be thankful and grateful for, but I still hope for a society that has more heart and is willing to give freely and more lovingly to the people around them. A word of affirmation and encouragement could do wonders in lifting the mood of those around us.

This week, I had the privilege to meet a dear old friend and he loaned me a book titled, “The Way of St Francis” by Murray Bodo on The Challenge of Franciscan Spirituality for Everyone. I will be reading through this as I have always felt a strong connection with the Franciscan path of being grateful to nature and God’s creation.

Canticle of Brother Sun and Sister Moon of St. Francis of Assisi

“Most High, all-powerful, all-good Lord, All praise is Yours, all glory, all honour and all blessings.

To you alone, Most High, do they belong, and no mortal lips are worthy to pronounce Your Name.

Praised be You my Lord with all Your creatures,
especially Sir Brother Sun,
Who is the day through whom You give us light.
And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendour,
Of You Most High, he bears the likeness.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars,
In the heavens you have made them bright, precious and fair.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air,
And fair and stormy, all weather’s moods,
by which You cherish all that You have made.

Praised be You my Lord through Sister Water,
So useful, humble, precious and pure.

Praised be You my Lord through Brother Fire,
through whom You light the night and he is beautiful and playful and robust and strong.

Praised be You my Lord through our Sister,
Mother Earth who sustains and governs us, producing varied fruits with coloured flowers and herbs.
Praise be You my Lord through those who grant pardon for love of You and bear sickness and trial.

Blessed are those who endure in peace, By You Most High, they will be crowned.

Praised be You, my Lord through Sister Death,
from whom no-one living can escape. Woe to those who die in mortal sin! Blessed are they She finds doing Your Will.

No second death can do them harm. Praise and bless my Lord and give Him thanks,
And serve Him with great humility.”

Let us continue to pray for one another and be reassured that Jesus is with us through life’s many storms, and all we have to do is call out to him! God Bless!

Written By: Darren Chan Keng Leong


Placing Flowers at the Feet of St Anne


Spoken & Unspoken Difficulties. It is going to be a long week ahead as I have an important work meeting tomorrow and after that I am heading over to Thailand for a week-long United Nations symposium conference. It is part of my efforts in closing my time as a student and moving out of the school zone. It has proven to be difficult as making use of opportunities does require alot of time management and logistics.

My family and I attended the St Anne’s feast day Novena celebrations as usual every year in praying for our own family intentions and participating in the fares that the feast day offered. It was Spirit-filled as you could see people putting their petitions in the representation of flowers at the feet of St Anne in the main church.

The novena follows 3 nights of prayers and devotion to St Anne in the theme of mercy in loving, caring and forgiveness. Forgiveness is the greatest act of mercy but the most difficult- it means letting go of what the person has done and moving on without bearing any form of vengeance or hatred.

The gospel reading says,”Jesus said to his disciples:”The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it (Matthew 13:44-46).”

The kingdom of heaven cannot be compared to that of the riches of the world. It does not even come close. It boils down to choice; do we choose the material heaven of this world or the eternal heaven that Jesus offers us?

Jesus calls us to forgive, love and care to attain the Kingdom of Heaven as we are created in his likeness. Therefore, we are called to let go and not retaliate, but just carry on with our lives. What matters the most is the treasure that we seek which cannot be bought by money nor material goods; it can only be bought by our sincerity and heart to attain it.

As we pray with St Anne to intercede with us in our petitions, may we also be joined in solidarity in lighting a candle with others in praying for a more peaceful and forgiving world – where restoration and reconciliation are possible, and to reach that heavenly goal together too. God Bless!

I close this post with a prayer to St Anne that despite all our sinful ways-like the prodigal son or the woman who committed adultery, that we may show compassion and love to ourselves and others caught in the stronghold of sin.

“Good St. Anne, you were especially favored by God to be the mother of the most holy Virgin Mary, the Mother of our Savior. By your power with your most pure daughter and with her divine Son, kindly obtain for us the grace and the favor we now seek. Please secure for us also forgiveness of our past sins, the strength to perform faithfully our daily duties and the help we need to persevere in the love of Jesus and Mary. Amen.”

Written By: Darren Chan Keng Leong


The Weeds Among The Seeds

Wrapping Up. At the graduation, it was a surreal experience being conferred all the rights of being a graduate. However, it opens new and uncertain paths which is to not remain unemployed for too long. I am grateful for the opportunities and people that have been with me on this journey, and especially God for without Him, I would not have made it this far.

Physically, I felt relieved but in my mind, my thoughts were clouded because I have not gotten down to take a breather and get back on track. I am trying to clear as much current work as possible before making any further plans.

The gospel opens by saying,Jesus proposed another parable to the crowds, saying: “The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everyone was asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off. When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well. The slaves of the householder came to him and said,’Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where have the weeds come from?

He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’ His slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’He replied, ‘No, if you pull up the weeds you might uproot the wheat along with them.  Let them grow together until harvest; then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters,”First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning; but gather the wheat into my barn (Matthew 13:24-30).”

The kingdom of heaven is a promise given to us by Jesus that if we start planning to receive the kingdom now- we will surely receive it. This is provided that we start sowing good seed in our lives. Sowing also means having the patience to cultivate it, just like how the sower stops the slaves from pulling out the weeds that have grown with the seeds.

Sin is the representation of the weeds, just like an overgrown garden, it is unsightly, and it stops the good plants from growing. We too, need to weed out sin just as every good gardener would do; it is an everyday process of pulling the weeds out in ensuring healthy growth of the plants.

A well-kept heart and mind, just like a well-maintained garden, shows our sincerity and determination in ensuring that we stay close to Jesus. Another reality that the gospel speaks of would be that good (harvest) and evil (weeds) could co-exist together. This means it might be harder for us to differentiate between the good and bad, and the line can sometimes be blurred.

In light of all the chaos in the world, the unspoken words and thoughts in our minds and the worries that keep us awake at night, we have to try and always get back up when the going gets tough as we try to stay afloat in the vast ocean of life; and we are to help others even while we help ourselves.

We pray for the strength to continue braving through the storms, to spend more time focusing our own well-being and being there for others in their greatest need. And of course,  to rely on Jesus to keep maintaining the garden in our hearts and minds, so that the harvest will be rich and plentiful when we meet Him. God Bless!

I would like to close this post with a song “Leave Out All The Rest” as a tribute to the late Chester Bennington of rock band, Linkin Park whose songs I listened to as a teenager growing up. It is dedicated to those that have lost a loved one and for those to stand in solidarity to raise awareness on mental health awareness and care for those struggling silently, that there is hope and many are still rooting for them.

“I dreamed I was missing
You were so scared
But no one would listen
‘Cause no one else cared

After my dreaming
I woke with this fear
What am I leaving
When I’m done here?

So if you’re asking me
I want you to know

When my time comes
Forget the wrong that I’ve done
Help me leave behind some
Reasons to be missed
And don’t resent me
And when you’re feeling empty
Keep me in your memory
Leave out all the rest
Leave out all the rest

Don’t be afraid
I’ve taken my beating
I’ve shared what I’ve made
I’m strong on the surface
Not all the way through
I’ve never been perfect
But neither have you

So if you’re asking me
I want you to know

When my time comes
Forget the wrong that I’ve done
Help me leave behind some
Reasons to be missed
Don’t resent me
And when you’re feeling empty
Keep me in your memory
Leave out all the rest
Leave out all the rest

Forgetting all the hurt inside
You’ve learned to hide so well
Pretending someone else can come
And save me from myself
I can’t be who you are

When my time comes
Forget the wrong that I’ve done
Help me leave behind some
Reasons to be missed
Don’t resent me
And when you’re feeling empty
Keep me in your memory
Leave out all the rest
Leave out all the rest

Forgetting all the hurt inside
You’ve learned to hide so well
Pretending someone else can come
And save me from myself
I can’t be who you are
I can’t be who you are” 

Written By: Darren Chan Keng Leong


Rich Soil Yields a Plentiful Harvest


Price to Pay. I feel that I am left in a stupor after working so hard that my mind just keeps going like clockwork. Sometimes, it can be challenging to put in the same amount of effort everyday as it is like a jukebox theory where people select the song and shuffles through the playlist in finding that perfect rhythm or song that will suit their taste. It is the price to pay if you want to earn a living, I guess, and more so in this challenging era. The only thing that I have left is endurance and to hold on even if it is the hardest thing to do.

The gospel opens by saying,“On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd stood along the shore. And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path,and birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched,and it withered for lack of roots. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it. But some seed fell on rich soil and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold. Whoever has ears ought to hear (Matthew 13:1-9).”

This is one of my favorite gospel passages as I just like how the sower is depicted as God and his gift of free will. He does not keep the good news to Himself but chooses to scatter them freely and abundantly. It is up to us to cultivate the seed by using good and fertile soil which would yield good crops or beautiful plants.

My earliest cultivation of the word of God would be through catechism class and also how I would flip through the catechism book beforehand to look at stories that showed the word of God in action. It intrigued me to look at how God was sowing the seeds and how people were responding to it by nurturing the seed.

It is our inner desire that best represents the type of soil or spiritual state that we are in. I have been in the category of the bad soil recently as my worries and demands of the world crept into me that God has forsaken me. I know this is not true but it is a great struggle that many are facing daily, including myself.

Like a plant, hard soil does not yield growth nor does poor soil, therefore we need to take efforts to cultivate and nurture the soil by changing and loosening them. This can be achieved through quiet reflection and reconciliation on the word of God who is the sower. Are we taking the initiative to make the word of God alive and present in our lives today?

Patience and perseverance are key components in not giving up which is something that I have been repeating to myself in my subconscious to keep myself going. I pray that despite all the fears and obstacles, Jesus can lead me away from these inner pain at least temporarily so I can come back stronger and more refreshed. I hope to find some peace and not be crippled by fear that weighs me down.

Writing has been therapeutic for me as I can put my thoughts into words and though it can be challenging to find the right words – seeking the kingdom of God, there I will find whatever I am looking for which is peace,freedom and joy. One day,I know that I will meet the sower and be held in His embrace, to know that I am loved by Him. We keep each other in prayers and for those who are suffering to find comfort and consolation in God’s word and the presence of their loved ones.

For the seed that falls on good ground will yield a fruitful harvest.God Bless!

Music speaks to people and through this song “Fear” by Blue October, it chronicles the struggle of the songwriter and how he gets back up despite life’s challenges.

“All my life
Been running from a pain in me
A feeling I don’t understand
Holding me down

Rain on me
All I am, getting harder
A heavy weight
I carry around.

I don’t have to fall apart
I don’t have to be afraid
I don’t have to let the damage
consume me,
My shadow see through me

Fear in itself
Will reel you in and spit you out
Over and over again
Believe in yourself
And you will walk
Fear in itself
Will use you up and break you down
like you were never enough
I used to fall, now I get back up.

I’m up here
I’m looking at the way down there
I’m staring through the I don’t care
It’s staring back at me

The beauty is
I’m learning how to face my beast
Starting now to find some peace
Set myself free

I don’t have to fall apart
I don’t have to be afraid
I don’t have to let the damage
consume me,
My shadow see through me

Fear in itself
Will reel you in
And spit you out over and over again
Believe in yourself
and you will walk
Fear in itself
Will use you up and break you down
like you were never enough
I used to fall but now I get back up

I’m moving on
Oh god just move on
I don’t have to fall apart
I don’t have to be afraid….
Get back up
Get up

Fear in itself will use you up
And break you down just like you’re
never enough
I used to fall

Ask for more
if you’re bitter still
Ask him to help you carry on.”

Written By: Darren Chan Keng Leong


Bible Sunday: Light & Easy


Overburdened. Things are ramping up in the workplace as more work starts coming in and sometimes, it leaves everyone, including myself scrambling to complete and meet all the stipulated deadlines. Tensions are running high as it is a rush to ensure that everything is running smoothly. In all of our burdens, we must not forget that Jesus is at the centre of it and He is always there for us, so that we do not get to carry all of the burdens on our own.

The gospel begins by saying, “At that time Jesus exclaimed: “I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to little ones.Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will.

“All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father,and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.”

“Come to me, all you who labour and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light”(Matthew 11:25-30).”

This is one of my favourite gospel’s passages as it highlights the struggles of humanity, where we are called to carry our crosses but are swarmed with all sorts of burdens and trials. Many by far have tried to comprehend the existence of God intellectually and scientifically. They have consulted numerous books, tried to challenge the bible and conducted research on religious artefacts pertaining to the Catholic Church.

However, their findings have proven inconclusive because just like the Trinity, some things are left a mystery which the human mind is unable to comprehend or understand. Just like children, when we surrender ourselves to faith, we will find the answers that we are looking for through the revelation in the image and presence of Jesus.

Jesus then invites us to come to Him if we are burdened, as it is with Him that we will find rest. Rest is really so precious to me and as much as I try to rest more on weekends. Sometimes, there is just too much work to do that I need to find the motivation in me to get going, before I can contemplate resting.

The promise of Jesus is that His yoke is easy and He will make our burdens light as I learn to lean on the cross for some semblance of support and comfort when the going gets tough. At times, I say a little prayer before I start a task because I cannot do it myself and I need Jesus to guide me as all glory and success comes from Him.

For me, He is the provider and He sends people to help me when my to-do-list gets challenging as many hands make light work. Time to time, I flip through the bible as I find the book of Psalms inspiring and yet comforting at the same time. The words are light and easy- a source of strength and anchor for me. The bible allows me to know God as a person, and it provides clarity when we see the connection to our lives by identifying with the characters and words in the passages which is our source of spiritual nourishment.

The only time I have experienced this surreal feeling of light and easy mood would be going on a holiday and it was after polytechnic graduation when I went on a trip to Perth, Western Australia. I was just grateful to experience pure rest when time slowed down slightly. There were no assignments nor work and I could just soak in the sights and sounds of my surroundings. I felt in control and was more focussed because it was just pure relaxation and you learn to appreciate nature up close and in different ways that you never thought possible.

I hope to be able to pause and relax someday again, even though it is hard to come by, I can picture it in my mind and it is where I can go to whenever I feel myself losing momentum. Also, learning to laugh a little, smile a little and talk to people in knowing that you are not alone in your struggles also uplifts the mood on this journey towards finding rest for ourselves.

May we make a mental note to read scripture because it speaks so much truth and the passages are highly relatable, and it may make our toughest moments a little lighter, a little more peaceful.

I close this post with a song titled,”Perth” by Bon Iver because it is reminiscent of times spent on vacation overseas and loving nature when I am most at peace. God Bless as we keep one another in prayers.

“I’m tearing up, across your face
Move dust through the light
To find your name
It’s something faint
This is not a place
Not yet awake, I’m raised to make

Still alive who you, love
Still alive who you, love
Still alive who you, love

In a matter of an month
From forests for the soft
Gotta know been lead aloft
So I’m ridding all your stories
What I know, what it is, is boring, wire it up!
You’re breaking your ground”

Written By: Darren Chan Keng Leong


Division In Fighting For The Truth


The little picture. During my childhood, I remembered playing with a Disney jigsaw puzzle which had a thousand over pieces and it took time to fix it to form a beautiful completed picture that was depicted on the box. I cannot remember if I managed to fix the puzzle but the big picture will not be complete without the little pieces. Plus,it takes time and patience to fix the puzzle; with people requiring immediacy now, which is the big picture, people forget about the process to reach in order to achieve the end result.

Much emphasis always falls on looking at the big picture, but many miss out on the little picture which consists of the finer details, and these add depth to the overall big picture context. Why? By overlooking these details, the big picture will be out of proportion; different ideologies would clash and creativity would be stifled. Even in the workplace, it sometimes can be so hard to suggest a change to explore new and original ideas that people tend to stick with the tried and tested methods; it can be discouraging and exasperating at times.

The gospel reading says,Jesus said to his apostles:”Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me,and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

“Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me. Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man will receive a righteous man’s reward. And whoever gives only a cup of cold water to one of these little ones to drink because the little one is a disciple—amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward (Matthew 10:37-42).” 

Jesus loves us all very much and this can be seen in today’s gospel where our worth is measured by the immense love that He has for His creation. The only request that we do the same is evident in Jesus’s response by taking up our crosses to follow Him on this pilgrimage from beginning to end.

Carrying the crosses everyday is a challenge because these crosses might change over periods of time. Then there are the push and pull concepts of the teachings of the Catholic Church that clash with the teachings of the world. Who do we follow? It can cast us into a dilemma which is not easy to resolve or come to a mutual consensus – because there is none.

Even in divided concepts, we need to seek out the truth through conversations because the reward outweighs the setbacks. It is through these conversations that conversion of hearts can take place, but it is an outgoing process. Therefore, we need to choose God over any other earthly relationships because our reward will be great in heaven where Jesus has prepared a place for us.

When we feel rejected or betrayed by our choice in choosing God over our closest relations, we should not feel discouraged because we are carrying out the mission that Jesus has given to us, which is to endure and to keep the faith. Though the journey is long and fraught with complications, we will lose our old life and find new life in Jesus.

At times,we need to see the little picture and stand firm with the Church’s teachings because after all, it is through the promise of salvation and everlasting joy at the end which gives us meaning, and to allow us to grow in faith and uphold the moral values of the Church which is in accordance with God’s will.

I only pray for the determination and perseverance needed to choose God’s will over that of this earthly life which consists of heavy expectations and responsibilities. A mental note which I have told myself is to always take a step back when things gets too complicated or overwhelming. Sometimes, we all need to go away, take a breather and go back into the fray again. It is a never ending battle, but only Jesus can give us true and lasting joy and peace- so there is hope when the chapter comes to a close.

May we be ready, start now and trust that no matter what happens, we still belong to Jesus, and not let the world define our worth or value because ultimately we chart our own course, just like the captain of a ship, out in the open sea.

God Bless as we pray for one another and ask for forgiveness when mistakes are made, and for the greater capacity to love even when we are divided in the truth.

Written By: Darren Chan Keng Leong


Worth-More or Worthless?


The Great Divide. As I turn the pages of the daily papers, I noticed that there is a new divide brewing within the context of society. Countries, figures of authority and people remain divided over issues, and some choose to co-operate, while others choose to divide people based on their own agenda or beliefs. I begin to wonder in the midst of this all, what is the worth of our humanity? Is simple conscience and the ability to differentiate between right and wrong gone?

The gospel begins by saying, “Jesus said to the Twelve:”Fear no one. Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed,nor secret that will not be known. What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light; what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna. Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin?

“Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge. Even all the hairs of your head are counted. So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father. But whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father (Matthew 10:26-33).” 

In this time and age where societal thinking and norms start to blur between the lines, it is important to continue to stay true to the teachings of the Church, for we must not be led astray, but to move towards the light, for it is where we hear God’s voice.

Be grateful for things that turn out well, and God can certainly surprise us, yet the father knows our needs and wants; he also knows our shortcomings and feelings of hopelessness. He challenges us to proclaim all that is positive and good to the people around us, to speak in the light and shout the many blessings received from the highest rooftops.

Though we might falter, Jesus tells us not to be afraid for though we are laden with sin, we are still worth more and so much more. However, society tells us otherwise. For me, people tell me otherwise and that leaves everything worthless, and it seems all the achievements are unable to match up to people’s expectations. It is  like a cycle and it gets repeated from time to time.

As I approach graduation ceremony, I have begun evaluating what is left of my remaining days as an undergraduate before I officially become a graduate. Did I do enough in my time as a student? Did I make full use of all the opportunities? Probably I did and I tried even if I might not be always successful all the time.

Then, there is the big question,”Will my parents be happy and proud?”, “Could I have done better?” Well, the truth is I do not know. People have many definitions of success, and some would require the best academic results to quantify having made it in terms of the hallmark of a graduate. I fear, and I also fear not because of not what I have done, but if what I had done is enough? It can be difficult to live up to people’s expectations. My expectation is simple, and I just do my best and leave the rest to God’s will. It seems easy but when you look around, and see others who are of a certain standard, it makes me wonder, am I worth less than them?

It can be so tiring and draining that it is like running a never-ending race.  I always have to keep looking over my shoulder, afraid that if I do not take up this opportunity, others will catch up with me. It is that competitive, and sadly, that is the way of the world now for the young. My heart sinks whenever I get compared with  such remarks as “Oh my results are that high;  how about yours?” I try to push these thoughts away, and try to pick myself up.

Listening to the gospel, I really liked the phrase,”So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” It is so reassuring, and it shows how much Jesus treasures us. He provides for the sparrows for I can see them in the gardens where they fly among the trees, and they are provided for. I know I have been blessed for the opportunities that come my way, but I am still afraid, still cautious too as I guess I am afraid of being a letdown to the people around me.

Dear Jesus, you know each of our fears and worries, comfort us in our time of uncertainty and diverse societal norms, for things are more complex now, as with the rising standards in education and social class, it can be difficult to know that we are worth so much more to You, than to society, our family,friends and the people around us. Help me always find You in these times and when I doubt You, reassure me that everything will be all right in the end. I pray that You will grant me a happy and peaceful graduation ceremony next month. I am doing so much to secure a better future and please give me the courage to be happy and not be overly overwhelmed, but for me to stop always looking over my shoulder.

I was listening to the radio while eating my lunch and the song that was playing was by Alanis Morissette which was titled,”Hand in my pocket” I really like this 90s song which I grew up listening to, and it brings to light the simplicity of life to stay happy despite all the pressures of the world. God Bless and I am grateful for the extra day this weekend!

“I’m broke but I’m happy
I’m poor but I’m kind
I’m short but I’m healthy, yeah
I’m high but I’m grounded
I’m sane but I’m overwhelmed
I’m lost but I’m hopeful baby
What it all comes down to
Is that everything’s gonna be fine fine fine
’cause I’ve got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is giving a high five
I feel drunk but I’m sober
I’m young and I’m underpaid
I’m tired but I’m working, yeah
I care but I’m restless
I’m here but I’m really gone
I’m wrong and I’m sorry baby

What it all comes down to
Is that everything’s gonna be quite alright
’cause I’ve got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is flicking a cigarette
And what it all comes down to
Is that I haven’t got it all figured out just yet
’cause I’ve got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is giving the peace sign
I’m free but I’m focused
I’m green but I’m wise
I’m hard but I’m friendly baby
I’m sad but I’m laughing
I’m brave but I’m chickenshit
I’m sick but I’m pretty baby

And what it all boils down to
Is that no one’s really got it figured out just yet
’cause I’ve got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is playing the piano
And what it all comes down to my friends
Is that everything’s just fine fine fine
’cause I’ve got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is hailing a taxi cab”

Written By: Darren Chan Keng Leong