It was easy in the “old days” to know that there was much about Singapore that was in trouble. You could smell the Singapore River. It always seemed like it should be on the verge of catching fire. The houses lining the river reflected much of the river’s character – I do not know of anyone venturing out alone at night. Even though it was a tourist destination, things were not always safe for tourists walking through Change Alley. Your life was ok, thieves were out to pick your pocket or cheat you out of some hard earned money.
Life was simple in those days. There were those on the right side of the street, those clearly out to get you, and then there were those bartering in the middle! You wanted to trust them but things never quite worked out the way you planned! But at least you knew that you could take a break at Charlie’s – a block of ice always out waiting to be shaved for a cherry-Coke or something else that you thought would quench your thirst.
I never thought things would change, but they have. It was as if someone asked the difficult questions and finally got an answer.
“Do you really prefer seeing double, with your speech all slurred, reeling and seasick, drunk as a sailor?” (Proverbs 23.33, 34)
No? Then what are you going to do?
The visuals have changed in Singapore. Change Alley is a tourist destination with no resemblance to the past, Raffles Square is buried among high rise business towers, and couples stroll safely at all hours of the day and night. I am not sure the demand for one’s money has shifted.
I wonder if I am willing to face the tough questions. Do I really prefer losing myself to the god of self? Sometimes it comes out in seeing double and losing control – the cause can be a drink but it can just as easily be anger, frustration, and exploitation.
Do I really want to continue living this way? No? Then God is the answer.