I remembered when I was young, I always dreamed that there would be at least a winter season in Singapore. I was hoping against all hopes that it would snow one day – some day in Singapore. It didn’t happen of course, however, the sky did give us hails. I remembered my brothers and I were jumping up and down to pick up hails as the hails – small pieces of ice hit the zinc roof of my grandparents’ home and landed on the ground. However, it melted immediately when we held it on the palms of our hands. We were all elated yet at the same time, disappointed because it disappeared before we could enjoy it. I thought to myself, “it will snow the next time!”. It never came because we do not have the usual four seasons in Singapore except for sunny, rainy and sometimes stormy seasons.
According to the author in Ecclesiastes, he referred season as time, not the usual kinds of seasons of spring, summer, autumn and winter per se.
“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1
In this verse, the author was referring season as time and that there is a time (season) for everything. The time that we have on earth is given by the Lord. The time that we have is limited on earth as we could live up to 70 years as ordained by the Lord or perhaps 90 years or more if the Lord so desired for us. Some might only live for a fleeting of 10 years or less. However, whatever time that we have on earth, there is a purpose of our being on earth, under heaven, that is, under the authority, sovereignty and grace of our Heavenly Father, the Almighty and Creator Lord.
The author beseeched us to take time seriously and that there is a purpose in our time on earth as our time on earth is given by God. Thus, what is the purpose of our time on earth and how are we using our precious, limited and God-given time?
In the beginning of this year, I had embarked on seeking ways to “self care”’ and “explore” as God has impressed upon me on these two things at the end of last year. I have found that I had neglected the essence of taking care of myself as I was much focused and absorbed in one thing, that is, my full time ministry in children’s ministry since 1998 when I joined Scripture Union as children worker and since 2004 when I joined LPPC in the chaplaincy ministry. Hence, I found that my scope in life has since been narrowed and dried. I believed that the Lord is renewing my body, mind and spirit as I begin to see the need to take care of my body, mind and spirit as ministry is indeed a giving ministry and I have neglected the intake for my body, mind and spirit. It pays to “self care” and it is not selfish but it is an act of taking care of self in order to bless others. Self-care includes not only rest, exercise, entertainment, eat and sleep, it also includes the act of exploring ways to learn something new to widen my scope in life.
Do you have any childhood dreams that you wish to do? Well, I have a childhood dream to make my own garment. Recently, I signed up for a dressmaking course to make a skirt, a blouse and a dress. It was a wonderful experience as I get to fulfil my long-awaited dream. Check out my new outfit! The self-care and explore journey has led me not only to learn something new that I loved, it also led me to be acquainted with new friends and learned about their lives and purpose. I am most impressed, humbled and inspired as I learned of the motivation and desire of two Christian ladies, Amy and Karen who started this organisation called ‘Sew Into It’, to inspire people to take up the craft of sewing. They were former educators who wished to use their God-given time on earth wisely and being purposeful in their lives and help others to do likewise. They strongly believe in the importance of using one’s skills and talents for the benefit of others. They also created SEWcial Agenda in this organisation – a social outreach arm where it uses “sewing as a form of creative engagement and empowerment” and “foster sense of agency to Youths At Risk (YAR) and other disadvantaged individuals, so as to build a community of confident and compassionate individuals imbued with a strong sense of social consciousness.” ¹ They have a give-back programme where the volunteers use sewing to give back to other beneficiaries. For instance, the volunteers would sew drawstrings backpacks for children in special homes and also sewed special sling bags for the homeless. They empowered volunteers to use their time purposefully by learning a new craft as well as using their newfound talents and skills to bless others. In turn, they would know and experience the love and purpose of God.
As I pondered over my new craft in my journey of self care and explore, I appreciate others who understand the meaning of the limited, precious time that God gives and being purposeful in our God-given time. The two Christian ladies shared God’s love and purpose in life through their love of the art of sewing and in turn, empower others to show God’s love to others especially those in need.
Would you also take time to appreciate the precious and limited time that God gives you in this season of life as well as discover God’s purpose for your time on earth? May you be blessed as you consider it and be a blessing to others as you discover the talents and skills that the Lord has given you.