I write as I am sitting at the reflection-bar in my apartment. It overlooks a quiet community of low-rise apartments and semi-detached homes hidden near to Singapore’s Orchard Road. My inspiration from the usually idyllic view is under threat by the warning signs of an impending rainstorm. On one side, dark clouds hover over tall buildings in the distance. From the other direction, I can see clouds aggressively moving toward them indicating a battle will follow. In the present, the shifting winds and dancing wind chimes tell of impending change. The combination makes what is to come a near-sure thing, or does it?
Yesterday and today, combinations have led one to draw a conclusion about what will come. The Psalmist talks about a combination of cultures and forces, “Gebal and Ammon and Amalek, Philistia and the Tyrians.” (Psalm 83.7) To the audience then and historians now, anticipation grows. Each is certain of what is to follow.
I would like to suggest that one can use this information while not being bound to it. Far too often I conclude I know what is coming. This leads to interrupting conversation, destroying potential dialogue under the guise of getting to the right destinations with speed. This leads to acting on one’s bias before one has real evidence. This leads to one ignoring one’s primary mission to do good by lifting others up.
It is the last point that bothers me. Even if there is a real or metaphorical torrential rainstorm about to unleash itself around me, has the calling on my heart and mind changed? Before the realization, I was certain that I was called to bring compassion, caring, and community together. In the midst of chaos, potentially getting soaked, and uncertainty, has anything changed?
It is rarely easy to avoid the distractions that can dominate our senses. Uncertainty is real. Pain is tangible. One often knows bad combinations will lead to difficult and trying circumstances. The blunt question remains, so what? What has really changed? In my heart, I know. My calling remains as it was, an opportunity.