Sunday, September 11, 2005

Of Prayer, Paddy and Philippians

dens leonis
Originally uploaded by mincaye.
I do not have much time.

This picture was taken some weeks ago; I cannot remember exactly when, but it was on a Friday morning in August. I had intended to write a poem about it, something along the lines of 'morning prayer', but in the end composed the following:

Dens Leonis

Tufts of downy fluff, strewn over
Meadows in the height of summer,
Picked by the casual observer.
Glimmering in the golden sun,
Diamond rays through feathery heads run
Into the prayer to the Only One.
Blown apart, its death is gain,
Scattered on stone and grass and muddy lane
The joyful flower may sing again.

This will probably be my last post for awhile, as the final exams are drawing very near: last week of September, to be precise.

Earlier, in the morning, I was looking at the Best Debater trophy I won last year; I noticed a paddy and hibiscus motif on the pewter, and wondered, why paddy?

The old Malay proverb struck me -- ikutlah resam padi; semakin berisi, semakin tunduk. I think C.S. Lewis' words at the end of The Weight of Glory translate this maxim best: there are some burdens so great, only humility can carry them.

I also recalled Jars of Clay's words in their song 'Jealous Kind': "...breaks the back of foolish pride..."

Oh well, just a random thought inspired by one of the most uninspiring plants a trophy can bear. (Indeed, I still wonder why POS Malaysia doesn't get rid of the uber-ubiquitous 30 sen padi stamp and replace it with something more interesting).

I've decided to 'study' the book of Philippians throughout whatever is left of this month. Some of my favourite Steven Curtis Chapman songs, such as 'Hold on to Jesus' and 'His Strength is Perfect' were inspired by verses from that book.

Also, I remember most of us never finished it during Quiet Time at d'NA last year, due to God's unexpected, dramatic visit wrapped in petal showers of blessing and joy borne upon a gusty wind of encouragement and hope.

On a sarcastic note, Paul wrote it while he was in prison; I am reading it in the student equivalent. Or at least, that's what the exams feel like to me: a prison sentence.

My father has just given me a thorough scolding. Even as I type this very sentence, I don't know what to think. I was supposed to be in bed 17 minutes ago. I'd better get going now.

I'd have left Form Six a long time ago if not for the Christian Union and Editorial Board. All that keeps me here is the knowledge that there is something unfinished; a divine conspiracy that hasn't worked its full course yet.

Good night.


Foreign Stranger said...

Hey Ben! All the best on your finals. And good to read another of your posts again.

letmebewhoireallyam said...

just 3 more weeks, brother. persevere... *hugs*. actually, philippians is my favourite book of the bible so far. studiesd it for a bible quiz 2 years back and it's stuck with me...

yen said...

"Indeed, I still wonder why POS Malaysia doesn't get rid of the uber-ubiquitous 30 sen padi stamp and replace it with something more interesting".

I thought the word was "(more) inspiring"?

Emilie said...

hey ben! jsut dropping a note, i'm no longer blogging in xanga and have switched to blogger so it'd be wise to re-link me, drop by when you have the time, just noted you the other day, cheers!

Ling said...

Hey Bin Laden...just dropping in from the other side of the world to say hey! Hope you're doing alright, and more than alright. Take care and live it large. :)

JeremiahTan said...

Hey Ben!
I found you at last whaha!!!
come visit me k?