Friday, 28 March 2008

on the parents

It was rather a relief, I suppose that after talking it over with my parents, the only thing that they said (my dad in particular) was to take my time about it and do it step by step.
The other thing that gave a little bit of relief was the comment my dad made in passing, where apparently T.T. Quah said something about it being okay (?) for me to leave because it would be difficult for me to continue working with people who had worked with my father. Or something like that. Which is a little bit of what I feel too.
So...
"See how"

Monday, 24 March 2008

words

Maybe Jian hit the nail on the head when he said that I bother too much about what people say.
So could I just be ruthless and throw caution to the wind and say "You suck. Good bye."
Which really isn't what I would naturally say.
But since I'm being abnormal anyway. Sigh.

And yet words, in some way, have ceased to matter. What I say isn't going to make much of a difference unless I actually do something.

Need time to think.
If I would give myself that.

Sunday, 23 March 2008

where to?

So maybe by talking it over and over and over again, I will get more clarity on my own thoughts. I think. I don't know. Maybe by asking and talking and listening, I can define more clearly if this impulse was merely that - or something more.
I turned up in church this morning, and it didn't feel like Easter. It felt as if there was a bitterness in my soul. I don't know if I was upset because I felt I was being side-lined. I don't know if I was upset because... just because. Or maybe I'm just being stressed about Monday. So I was being grumpy. (Not an unusual feat or fact).
But song turned to tears, I don't know why, which is hard on me because I can usually shut out emotions and turn off the tap. Most times. And in the midst of it was this thought - that it was time to leave this church.
I don't know why. I don't know where to.
But I feel that it's time to move on.

But I'm afraid to. I don't know why. Maybe it's because when I finished with TARC in KL I was quite certain that I was to come back, and to come back to the church. I was quite sure that my place was to be in this church, with the Creative Arts. In the Worship Team.
Now I'm not so sure.
I don't know if it's because I'm being "overworked", if I am pushing myself too hard, or if I'm feeling guilty at the lack of results and/or lack of overall needful effort. I don't know if I'm being upset at the fact that I try, but it fails, or I try, but am told I am not needed. I don't know if I am taking offence at what that pastor said / implied last week. I don't know if in some ways I am still affected by my father's resignation, or if I am taking offence on his behalf, or if I feel in some ways overburdened by it. I don't know if this whole problem is because I feel that everyone is on their tippy-toes about me because of my father and the resignation, as if I am someone they need to guard and protect, and make sure I am not hurt (and yet they still inflict hurt). I also don't know if this is just some backlash to the realisation of the fact that I have never and probably will never fit in. That the ideas and interests and lifestyles of those around my age are dissimilar from mine and will probably never even touch in any sort of tangent.
I feel as if... people are expecting me to act a certain grown-up way and do certain things, while at the same time putting me down as a child, and taking away those opportunities offered earlier.
There are too many why's and if's in the consideration, and I think I will never be able to come to a single lucid explanation of my impulses and my fears, my desires and my hopes.

What I do know is this: I will probably never truly be able to be myself here. There are too many unspoken expectations that I have to deal with, both from myself and from the church. I feel that I have no room to grow, maybe because of the way I see myself in connection with the church, or maybe because... I don't know. I feel as if all the walls that I had taken down whilst in KL have been re-erected where they stand, maybe even further in.
What I don't know is this: if it will ever truly be different anywhere else because of the way I was made, because of the way I always react, and because of who I have gradually come to be.

There is the hope though, that just as CF & Metro Tab made me a different person than the one I am becoming, that maybe a change will reignite something that should be there.

Maybe church will somehow again become something more than a responsibility and a burden and an expectation and a guilt.

The question now is: where to, and when?

Sunday, 16 March 2008

rebellion

Maybe what one needs to realise about youth and the rebellion towards the church is that it's generally not about a rebellion towards God, but against the status quo. The very idea of "church-going" to make one a Christian doesn't make sense. Christ died - yes, for the church - but in that very strain of idea, I am the church. And yes, whilst we are not to forget the assembling of the saints, the non-attendance of one at church on occasion should not be the be-all-end-all of one's spiritual life.

Yes, I admit I skipped a church service. On the occasion that I was tired, and I have already been to a service the night before. The assembling of the saints does not state that one must go to every service available on a given weekend, or if the service should be one that one often (or regularly) goes to, or if it must be a full church service, or a youth one.

To dig deeper into the truth, since I am setting out to be truthful to you by admitting my faults, I did not go to church, not only because I was tired physically, but because, to put it plainly, I am tired of the church. Rather - I am tired of the stress of placing me in the church. There is the need to dress up (to give the idea of one putting on the best for God), the need to mask up (to seem more spiritually there, or more together than I really am) and the need to answer myriads of questions on how I am (I'm fine, how are you, how is work, work is shit, but I can't tell you that)!

I was doing back-up vocals in the youth service last night, and I think I shall not do it again. There is nothing wrong with the youth or the youth service whatever, except that it just doesn't work to put old fogeys up on stage as the "seniors" coming to serve the youth when we have no relevance to them at all. The songs chosen, some new, mostly old, were songs that had some impact in my "era" of the youth - a time 5 years (and more) in the distance, and by the look on most of their faces (most, because one or two of the older ones seemed to get it), they were more bored, standing in the front of the hall by rote to listen and try to sing along to unfamiliar songs, rather than by any youthful exuberance or desire to get up and praise God. I feel personally that if no one has the desire to stand up in the front and jump, there is no need to ask them to do it, half-heartedly as it were, or by habit, because then it would have no meaning. It degenerates merely into a music concert, a spectator show. And thinking all of this on the stage while singing, with or without my hands lifted, I can see the irony of it all.

The aura that exudes is often a fake one, the lifting of hands by instinct or habit, and the mind is engaged in analysing the worshipfullness or not of the church and/or the youth-going crowd. And wondering behind it all: what is this worth? What is the worth of this "worship" and good music, and bringing in bands and concerts and speakers, when at the end of it, there is no passion or no drive to really see the Kingdom of God? Maybe it's the dryness of my soul, or the hardness of my heart, but I see no point. There is no point pushing and striving when what is not there is not there. Give it up and try something different. If they don't want to sing, maybe that is not their reasonable worship! Give them other ways, and see where that brings the group as a whole. At least they are genuine in their "boredom", though it worries the adults so much. I would rather not touch the youth as a whole, because every time I do, a certain idea of disdain and judging comes into the picture, because I compare between the things we did and what they do now, and find it not at all satisfactory. And maybe it should be that way (that I should distance myself from this) because it is hardly healthy for me or for them to have someone telling them what they should and should not do, in such judgemental tones. Let them rather work with people who understand where they are at and work with them to bring them up to different standards than those I think I am used to!

And on the other more painful matter of my facade, let it be known clearly that I am, frankly, tired and depressed. I try to avoid the Vale of Tempe road for the sole reason that every time I pass a certain bend, I wonder, what if I just drove straight off instead of turning with the road? I do not play about with knives and scissors for the reason that it sometimes pops into mind, what if I started deliberately cutting?
And no, this is not cause for worry, because I am too sensible and rational to ever attempt such things. Besides, the very fact that I can state this clearly and openly should drive from your minds the idea that I would do it. The curse of the writer is that to write is bare all, and the writing down of such thoughts is cathartic and clears the mind and heart for better thoughts and feelings to enter - at the cost of making others worry unnecessarily, and by the very fact that they often respond negatively and worry at it like a dog worrying at a bone, this often compounds the problem by driving the idea back firmly into the writer's head!

And back to the church. The church! The church that is supposed to build each one up in love, but often passes judgement as to their skills and abilities. It shouldn't hurt, but it does, that a certain pastor should come up to me and ask if I would be unnecessarily stressed to lead worship on Easter Sunday, and if it would be better to ask another pastor to do the said job, or would it be alright for me? So she casts doubt on my ability, or my anointing (if I have such a thing), and since she has done that, I would rather save her the worry (and myself too) by letting the said other pastor take over. Need I grab on to the job as if to save face, and prove myself? But as I said, it still hurts, because you've shown your doubts about me, and being who I am, it does in some ways shatter my self-confidence, in the same way that it is shaken whenever I am requested to change my songs.

But what really matters in the end, is not whether I go to church or not, whether I am a good example or not, or whether I am on people's prayer list as a possible danger(!), but the fact that He loves me the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. What I do may make Him sad, or disappointed as it makes me sad and disgusted at myself, but there is always that constant love and hope, because of His unfailing love, and because even in the dark Saturday of my mind, tomorrow is Sunday, and He will rise,
is rising, has risen.

The church? The church as a whole needs a face lift. And maybe I really shouldn't stay where I am not wanted. But will it be different anywhere else?

Saturday, 8 March 2008

voter

I suppose now that I have voted, I might as well say something. I'm usually totally apolitical, because I don't really care. A government is a government, and the government is supposed to be there to protect the people, build the nation and generally make things happen.
A government, one way or another, is meant to keep the peace, uphold justice, make education work. When it comes down to political parties, to me, it's just who does a better job, and who does a sloppy one. I don't know how to put this right, but a government is meant to govern.

Basically, to make sure things work. So you can have a lousy government, or a good one. It's just whether things work better or worse. From my point of view, it's just supposed to BE there. I don't really care who is there, as long as the job gets done.

Now, what has really irked me about this campaign is the heavy-handed tactics the current ruling party seems to be using. I don't know what they're getting at, but the way their slogans run, from the banners to the radio adverts, the idea that gets across is this: vote for us, or else.
Is that meant to be a threat?
Or else what? Whose to say that the opposition can't do a good job as well? Who's to say that if the opposition wins, we won't have stability and peace of mind? (Unless of course, they are intending to "do something about it" which shows up their utter immaturity!)
Or maybe they just need better PR. Yeah. They really need better PR. Because they're coming across as old-fashioned, male chauvinistic, fanatical idiots.

On the other hand, all I'm hearing from the other side, is to deny them the two thirds. Deny them the two thirds. It doesn't matter who you vote for, as long as you deny them that two thirds.
Again, maybe I'm also just getting it wrong (because I'm not one to seek out the info, and go to the talks), but to the general uninterested public, they're not really putting up any good argument. All I seem to hear is this: they're doing a lousy job so just make sure they get kicked out.
What then? Who's the alternative? What options are you giving us? What if this snowballs so much that we totally swing around and put into power a bunch of people who have been working so hard to "get there" that they don't even know where they are? Are they really prepared for it?

Actually, the main thing that irks me about politics in general is the fact that everyone seems to come across as squabbling little children, out to get the best for themselves. Which is totally against the spirit of the whole thing, which is to get the best out of everyone, so that we can get the best for the nation, and indirectly, who knows, maybe get something good for ourselves too.

Efficiency. That's the word. It's just something we don't have.

But yeah, the spleen is spent, and like I said, I don't really care. I guess I shouldn't be that way, but I think this is just one of those things that I just don't get.

So we wait.