What I Have Learnt

An Essay By julesyim // 5/19/2007

I have learnt alot in the past week.

Initially, I wasn't thrilled about having to spend 3 days of my precious annual leave plus $110 to attend a church camp in the idyllic northeastern coast of Singapore. In fact, I grumped and stewed over it. In my mind, I had work to clear. Tons of reports to file. Correspondence to sift through and revert within the next two weeks. Deadlines and clients to meet. I also held an impromptu snarking session, for which I am not proud, with a bunch of close friends, moaning that there would be no Wi-Fi and I would be forced to leave my electronic gadgets behind.

What I did not know was that I was nearly at the end of my tether. Spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. The strain of competing in the rat race was wearing me down and I was no longer the same person I once was. I had drifted from God in my attempt to make a name for myself. I had forgotten who gave me life and breath in the first place. I had forgotten my roots, and I had lost a vital part of my soul.

But go to camp I did, and it did me a world of good. For the first time in two years, with no ringing mobile phones or beeping gadgets, headphones or stereo, laptop or PDA, I was forced to simply...listen. Yes, listen. I hear, but I do not listen. Listen to the incessant but comforting hum of cicadas. Listen to the gentle lapping of waves along the shore, or the timed signals from the ships' foghorns. And most amazing of all - listen to the voice of God.

It was an unregimented camp, which meant that we as adult ladies were only given the schedule for the mealtimes and worship sessions, but the rest of the day was ours. I walked along the beach's boardwalk almost every day, and along that quiet trail I spent time talking to my Lord. Telling Him what was on my heart. Telling Him I was sorry for putting Him aside. Telling Him that I needed His grace and strength more than I thought I did.

In a sense, these 3 days brought much-needed healing to my soul. I spent time with friends, and realised how little I really knew about them. I actually finished books instead of skimming through them for the most important bits, the way I do when I surf new sites. I sat down, stilled my heart and soul before pouring them out on paper. I spent every evening, by myself or with friends, watching the splendour of God's sunsets.

It was 3 days well spent. I learnt that I can indeed survive without my electronic gadgets and that I am actually better off without them. I returned to "civilisation", to email inboxes with over hundreds of emails, both personal and professional. But where it once used to be my life, it has now just become an extension of my life.

Comments

Very Modern, Very Readable

What you wrote I can relate to because while I was away on a leisurely trip for the weekend earlier this month, I thought about work and worried if things will be alright. We must learn that it's not our work that defines us, it's how we deal with everything that defines us.

Also, normally you would write the number out in words if it is less than ten. However, I think with today's readers, it's best to keep things simple and keep it eye-catching. Your writing is very modern, and very readable. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

 

Sincerely,

Jennifer Tran, MBA

Portland, Oregon

USA

Anonymous | Wed, 07/15/2009

Very Modern, Very Readable

Normally, you would write out the number if it is less than ten. I believe today's readers prefer the numbers rather than the words because it is visually appealing. Your writing is very modern, and very readable, as it relates well to how people are feeling about ourselves. We tend to let work define us instead of having how we deal with things define us. We should always take time to rest and relax even when we have a lot of things to do. Thank you for sharing.

 

Sincerely,

Jennifer Xuan-Uyen L. Tran

Portland, Oregon

USA

Anonymous | Wed, 07/15/2009

Good for you! But uh, which

Good for you! But uh, which God do you believe in again? I'm just making sure.

I am Nate-Dude | Tue, 10/06/2009

Nate-Dude