Thursday, September 29, 2005

Interesting Day...

It all started when I set out for a customer visit that's located bout 30 minutes away from the office. I started off an hour earlier since I didn't know where his place is and so that I could take some time to look for that place. Well, 5 minutes into the journey, for some reason, I just decided to pray. I prayed that God will make this meeting with this customer fruitful. I prayed that God will remove any obstacles and help me to make this event as smooth as possible. The moment when I said "Amen", the car in front of me slowed down, and halted. Why.. wouldn't you know it, a traffic jam. I told myself, it's a good thing I left early. 10 minutes passed, and I'm still travelling barely 20 km/h. A few kilometers later, I found out the reason for the jam - a stalled truck, and of all the places to break down, it had to at the top of the flyover where there's no emergency lanes that you could stop temporarily. The bottleneck at that bridge caused a back log some 5km long.

Passing that broken truck, relieve came, and so I hurried off only to come to another jam. 10 minutes past and this time, it was a minor accident and we as Malaysians, find for some unknown reason, customary to slow down your vehicles to minimum speed and stare at the incident to show our respect to the less fortunate - two drivers with a dent bumper. Passing that incident, I sped off, and again, the traffic slowed down, and this time, it was a tractor who could not find a better time to use the freeway, causing all those who trail behind him to mimic his speed.

After several near deaths attempt of over taking him, I finally managed to reach my customer's AREA, and still not the place yet. It was already 2pm. My meeting was set to be 2pm. I called him and politely asked him if he could show me where his office was. He gave a description, but it was vague, and I was a bit embarassed to ask him to clarify, and this ended up causing me to drive in circles. After bout half an hour and several calls to the receptionist, I managed to arrive at the customer's place. It's 2:30 now I'm just hoping that nothing else will go wrong.

I apologized to him for my lateness and he was very understanding. So without wasting time, we discussed about the product, and with that, I pulled out my laptop to show him the software. Before this, I've prepared by putting the laptop in hibernation mode so that it will load quickly with all the stuff that I need when I turn it on again. However, for some unknown reason, the laptop took it's own time to load. And once it loaded, the software, which is my bread and butter, started to act strange. It took like minutes to load a simple command. I had to reassure the customer that our product is actually a high performance product and blah blah... Then once I got it running, I screwed up my presentation because I couldn't remember a few steps that I've just rehearsed some hours before.

In the end, I told him that I will e-mail him whatever that's left out today. He said ok, and so I left. On the way out, I noticed it was pouring heavily. It was sunny when I arrived, so I didn't bother with the umbrella. Long story short, by the time I got back to the car, I was soaked.

On the way back, my mind was constantly wondering about the prayer that I made earlier on. It's like, it was an 'anti-prayer'. I got everything opposite from what I asked for. But one thing I realized though, was that even in the entire journey, there was certain sense of peace and calmness that I had. I couldn't quite relate to it. I know that on most days, I would probably have been cursing and all, but I didn't. I just turned up the radio and sang along.

Reaching home, I just wanted to blog my thoughts, and mom came in, passing me my pen that I've left in my shirt, that just got washed with the rest of the load. Fortunately, the ink did not spread and remained obediently in the pen. However, since this pen was a gift from dad, I couldnt't just discard it, and had to try cleaning it. Needless to say, the ink does not dissolve in water, and I had to use acetone (nail polish remover) to dilute it. I messed up the whole sink, with my hands together in the process.

What a day. I got nothing of what I asked for. This then made me to think a little more. How Jesus prayed. And how He taught us to pray. It goes something like this:

"Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.
Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us of our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power,
and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen"

Notice that in this model prayer, is very little about a "problem free" life. Rather, Jesus taught us how to call on and depend on God for all our needs. From our daily bread, to forgiveness of sins and even to dealing with temptations, Jesus made it clear that all this ain't about our will or our way, but as it is in his own words, "Not my will, but Your will be done".

I guess that many of us pray so that our days will go smoothly and all, but I feel that if that's the only we pray, then, we're just making God some servant who needs to heed to our prayers, and go before us to prepare it so that we the kings and queens will not need to face so much "difficulties" and "inconvenience" in our day. God is not our servant, but He is Lord. He letting us even pray to Him is already such a wonderful privillege, for God does not need to listen to us. But He wants to. And He does.

May we cry out in our prayer times more that just complaints and woes. Yes, we can do this at times, and God is our Heavenly Father who will listen attentively to our cries and heartaches, and gives us comfort and encouragement. But more than this, we need to start acknowledging that this life that we have, is NOT ours to live. May we begin to understand that until we make our purposes His, and submit completely in surrendered hearts to God, we will continue to live lives that is firmly attached to this vicious cycle of life and us in it screaming, complaining and murmuring all the way. But once we surrender everything, and trust God fully with all our hearts, it is then that we will see the power of God begin to work in our lives.
Even in bad traffic and inky pens...

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