65. Planetshakers: HSG

I almost didn’t go, to begin with.

I had a meeting in the afternoon concerning The Flowering Tree (which opens on the 2nd Friday of November at PJLA. Get your tickets!) with some very distinguished veterans of the Malaysian creative arts scene, and by the time we were done, it was about 6.30P.M.

I had a lot of things on my mind: the mid-terms on Monday, the presentation on Tuesday, the video shootings that I have to coordinate over the week, and of course, Johann’s Fantastic Adventures Through Time. There were just so many things to be done, and I mean, I’ve already attended church service on Saturday. It wouldn’t be wrong for me to skip this one event, right? I have things to do – important things!

These were the thoughts that swam about my head during the drive home. So many things to do, so little time; but as I was contemplating on skipping the event, there was an uneasiness in me that wouldn’t go away.

I thought that I’d go home, start on some work, and see how much there is to be done – and depending on that, I will or will not attend the event. I arrived at home at about 7.15P.M., thinking that the event was scheduled to begin at 8.30P.M. (as it is in the fashion of every other HSG evening event ever), logged in to facebook, and was surprised to find a photo uploaded with the main hall of the church filled with people.

I hurried over to the events page and found that the concert was to begin at 7.30P.M.

There wasn’t even time to think or to do a little work and see how it goes anymore. It was the moment to make an urgent decision.

So I chose to go.

Driving to church, I almost gave up and turned home again when I saw that cars were parked all along the roads leading to the church. Where was I going to put mine? But in the end, I did find a spot some 200 meters away from the main entrance, and I ran the distance, up the ramp, down the walkway, and into the main hall, where the concert was had just only begun.

Inside it was hot, it was humid, and the main hall generally stank of sweat and body odors. Now I contemplated going home early, but my phlegmatic nature rules over and I stayed on for as long as I could still bear the place. For the first time, I was forced into the back corner of the church and couldn’t make it to the front, because the crowd inside was simply that dense.

Halfway through the concert, Pastor Rudy Nikkerud did a little sermon in between the songs about Christian living, and what he said was more or less this:

“Look at you guys, all gathered here on a Sunday night. It’s not like you guys don’t have a life. Some of you have school tomorrow; some of you have homework to be done; some of you have exams tomorrow… But you’re here in church when you can be anywhere else. God sees that, and He honors that.”

And I took that. I offered a prayer: God, you’ve got to help me do the things I need to do.

Ever felt so stressed that you begin to feel a physical pressure inside your head? Because I have. My head literally felt like it was going to explode as I stressed over the exam on Monday.

But then I went and killed it, and was the first to leave the exam hall – wondering what in the world was taking the rest so long.

Then I was stressed over the presentation, which happened earlier today.

But then not only did my team receive full marks from the lecturer, I was also named the class’ best speaker.

The reasonable mind – the logical mind would have rebelled against what I chose to do on Sunday night. There isn’t even enough time to do the “important” stuff – why am I spending time on these “unimportant” stuff? But if there’s one theological thought that I subscribe to, it’s that God is above human logic and reasoning. I believe that when I chose to be where the presence of God was on Sunday night, that presence followed me and went ahead of me to make my paths straight. And to sum it all up:

His grace is sufficient.


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